Religious Practices and National Development
Social Sciences
Volume 3, Issue 4, August 2014, Pages: 105-111
Received: Jun. 15, 2014; Accepted: Jun. 30, 2014; Published: Jul. 20, 2014
Views 3498      Downloads 153
Johnson Olusegun Ajayi, Department of Sociology, Faculty of the Social Sciences, Ekiti State University, PMB 5363, Ado-Ekiti, Nigeria
Bodunde David Oluwafemi, Department of Intelligence and Security Studies, College of Social and Management Sciences, Afe Babalola University, PMB 5454, Ado-Ekiti, Nigeria
Article Tools
Follow on us
Nigeria is a multi-religious society. These religions can be grouped under three principal and dominant types which are Christianity, Islam and Traditional African Religion. Religion is held with utmost passion, devotion, reference and sacredness in Nigeria, so much so that it has become a veritable tool in the hands of both political and non political leaders for the psychic and emotional manipulations of adherents. No wonder Marx sees religion as mere illusion, a way of rationalizing man’s frustrations, an opium that sedates and placates the pains of exploitation and oppression by the nuveaux riché, whereas Durkheim saw it as a social institution that serves to give meaning to man's existential predicaments. Nigeria today is one of the most religious societies in the world, but these various beliefs and teachings have not changed to any appreciable extent the lives of the adherents and the nation as a whole. What is witnessed instead is one form of religious crisis or another leading to; maiming, looting, massacre and horrendous bloodshed of innocent and unprotected citizens. Every religion in Nigeria plays the blame game, to an extent that the practice of the same teachings of love, peace, unity and brotherhood each religion claims to instruct becomes a dirge and mirage. This study is therefore set to investigate religious practices in Nigeria and the effect on the development of the society using exploratory method. Though religion could be a source of social unity and cohesion in a social setting, it was discovered that over the years in Nigeria, religion has merely led to persecution, torture, wanton bloodbath and destruction of social and economic materials.
Religion, Christianity, Islam, Morality, Sacredness, Religious Crisis
To cite this article
Johnson Olusegun Ajayi, Bodunde David Oluwafemi, Religious Practices and National Development, Social Sciences. Vol. 3, No. 4, 2014, pp. 105-111. doi: 10.11648/
Ajayi, J.O. [2012]. The Boko Haram Insurgence in Nigeria and the Threat to National Security. A paper presented at the 1st International Conference of Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Uyo, Uyo: Leadership and African Development, held on August 7th – 10th at Onyema Ugochukwu Hall, University of Uyo, Uyo. Akwa-Ibom State, Nigeria.
Akwalla J. [2009]. Third World and the meaning of development Accessed 28th September 2012
Alensina, A. and Rodick, D. [1994]. Distributive Politics and Economic Growth. Quarterly Journal of Economics, CLX.
Appleby, R. S. (1996). Religion as an Agent of Conflict Transformation and Peacebuilding. In C. Crocker, F. O. Hampson, & P. Aall, The Challenges of Managing International Conflict (pp. 821-840). Washington DC: USIP Press.
Barro, R.J. (1996). Determinants of Economic Growth: A Cross-Country Empirical Study. NBER Working Paper No. 5698. Issued in August 1996. National Bureau of Economic Research NBER Program(s). Available at Accessed June 28, 2014.
Barro, R.J. and McCleary, R. M. (2003). Religion and Economic Growth (May 2003). National Bureau of Economic Research NBER Working Paper No. w9682. Available at SSRN Accessed June 28, 2014.
Bellah, R. N. [1970]. Beyond Belief. New York: Harper and Row, Publishers, Inc.
Benveniste, E. [1973]. Indo-European Language and Society. London: Faber & Faber.
Broom, L. and Selznick, P. [1973]. Sociology: A Text with Adapted Readings Fifth Edition. New York: Harper and Row, Publishers, Inc.
Bryan S. T. [2005]. Sociology of Religion and the Expressive Revolution: The Problem of Western Individualism. Journal of Classical Sociology.2005.
Cohen, J. [2002]. Protestantism and Capitalism: The Mechanisms of Influence. New York: Aldine de Gruyter.
Derrida, J. Faith [1998].and Knowledge: The Two Sources of Religion at the Limits of Reason Alone, pp. 1–78 in J. Derrida and G. Vattimo (eds) Religion. Cambridge: Polity.
Durkheim, E. (1947). The elementary forms of religious life (J. Swain, Trans.). Glencoe, IL: Free Press. (Original work published 1915).
Eghosa E. O. and Rotimi T. S. [2005]. A History of Identities, Violence, and Stability in Nigeria. Crise Working Paper No. 6, Queen Elizabeth House, University of Oxford.
Ephraim F. The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism. Social Research, Vol.XI, 1944, pp.62-68
Haralambos, M.; Holborn, M. and Heald, R. [2004]. Sociology: Themes and Perspectives sixth edition. London: Haper Collins Publishers Limited.
Hoffman, B. (1998). Inside Terrorism. New York: Columbia University Press.
James W. D. [2007]. A Scientific Definition of Religion. London: Macmillan.
Johnston, D. and Sampson, C. [1994]. Religion: The Missing Dimension of Statecraft. New York: Oxford Univesity Press.
Juergensmeyer, M. [2001]. Terror in the mind of God: The global rise of religious violence. Berkeley: University of California Press.
Kirkpatrick, L.A. (2005). Attachment, Evolution, and the Psychology of Religion. New York: Guilford Publications.
Kraemer, E. [2004]. A philosopher looks at terrorism. Pp. 113-131 in Nyatepe-Coo, A. & Zeisler-Vralsted, D. (eds.) Understanding terrorism. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.
O'Connor, T. [2001]. Theories of Terrorism, Mega Links in Criminal Justice. Retrieved from
Okechukwu, O. A. [2012]. Religion and National Development in Nigeria. American Academic & Scholarly Research Journal Vol. 4, No. 4, July 2012
Robert J. B. and Rachel M. M. [2003]. Religion and Economic Growth across Countries. American Sociological Review, Vol. 68, No. 5. pp. 760-781.
Samuelsson, K. [1957]. Religion and Economic Action: A Critique of Max Weber. New York: Harper.
Seer, D. (1979). The meaning of development with postscript. In Seers, Nafziger, Cruise O’Brien & Bernstein Pp 9-30.
Sen, A.K. (1999). Development as Freedom. New York: Alfred A. K.
Smyth, M. and Robinson, G. [2001]. Researching Violently Divided Societies: Ethical and Methodological Issues. Tokyo: United Nations University Press,
Stitt, B. G. [2003]. The understanding of evil: A joint quest for criminology and theology. Pp. 203-218 in R. Chairs & B. Chilton (eds.) Star Trek Visions of Law & Justice. Dallas: Adios Press.
Tylor, E.B. (1958 [1871]). Primitive Culture: Researches into the Development of Mythology, Philosophy, Religion, Language, Arts, and Custom, 2 Vols. London: John Murray.
Wallerstein, I. [1974]. The Modern World System. New York: Academic Press.
Weber, M. (1958). The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism. New York: Scribner.
Wikisource , [2007]. The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism. Retrieved from
Science Publishing Group
1 Rockefeller Plaza,
10th and 11th Floors,
New York, NY 10020
Tel: (001)347-983-5186