170,123,740 (July 2012 est.)
GDP PER CAPITA
$2,600 (2011 est.)
Muslim 50%, Christian 40%, indigenous beliefs 10%
The tension between Nigeria’s Muslim-majority North and its Christian-majority South fuels periodic sectarian conflicts and informs the government’s attempts to balance religion-state separation with its need to appease the country’s religious factions. Islam arrived in Nigeria in the 11th century, gradually spreading throughout the North while local animist traditions remained dominant in the South. Existing ethnic and regional divides were further consolidated under British rule by treating the North and South as two distinct colonial entities; the colonial authorities often cooperated with Islamic authorities in the North while allowing Christian missionaries to operate in the South. A religiously mixed and often troubled Middle Belt lies between North and South, and substantial Christian and Muslim minorities exist in the two regions. Nigeria’s Constitution grants freedom of religion and bars the establishment of a state religion. Sharia courts have been implemented in many northern states, but in theory they have jurisdiction only over Muslims. Religious clashes in Nigerian society are often linked to larger social and political conflicts.
August 31, 2010
In her August 31 lecture, Carole Rakodi outlined the findings from a five-year collaborative research project funded by the UK Department for International Development (DIFD), which is now reaching its conclusion. The research program was launched to help fill knowledge gaps on the links between religion and development, and was designed to fully engage partners in four countries where the UK supports important development programs: Pakistan, India, Nigeria, and Tanzania. The...
June 23, 2009
U.S. and associated armed forces, including interagency and non-governmental partners, are involved in regions of the world where issues of religion and identity can both drive conflict and promote reconciliation. To date, however, religion-related issues have played very little role in military leadership training. In order to further understanding among officers, Georgetown University's Berkley Center for Religion, Peace & World Affairs and National Defense University's Institute for the...
December 12, 2008
June 23, 2008
The Center for Interfaith Action on Global Poverty
(CIFA) hosted a "Leadership Consultation on Scaling up Faith Community Impact against Malaria" at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., on December 12, 2008. The Consultation, co-sponsored by the Berkley Center, included leaders from the faith-inspired development community and from global organizations active around the issue. The goal of the Consultation was to assess the landscape of faith contributions on malaria, and to discuss...
Engaged practitioners met in the Hague to take stock of the wide range of ongoing work by different organizations that are inspired by religious faith and to explore the policy implications that emerge from their interactions with development organizations. The purpose was to take stock of the wide range of ongoing work by different organizations that are, in varying ways, inspired by religious faith, but more importantly, to explore the policy implications that emerge from their interactions...
April 21, 2008
Women have made less progress towards gender equality in the Middle East than in any other region. Many observers claim this is due to the region's Islamic traditions. Michael Ross argues, on the contrary, that oil production has caused women to lag behind in many other countries, including Nigeria, Venezuela, and Russia. In other words, oil - not Islam - is harmful for women in the Middle East. Speaking at Georgetown University, Ross argued that oil production reduces economic opportunities...
February 22, 2006
Nigerian human rights lawyer Hauwa Ibrahim spoke to the Council on Foreign Relations on the role of Islam in Nigerian law. She focused much of the discussion on one of her most famous cases, the case of Amina Lawal, a young woman who had been sentenced to be stoned to death for giving birth out of wedlock. Ibrahim also spoke about the political climate in Nigeria and President Obasanjo's efforts to stay in power by exploiting fear of Muslims in the country.