Church of Nigeria

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The Church of Nigeria is a member church of the Anglican Communion in Nigeria and in this the second largest after the Church of England . Today it has 156 dioceses and 10 ecclesiastical provinces . Information about members varies between 16 and 20 million, with twice the number of people attending services.

Your primate has been Nicholas Dikeriehi Orogodo Okoh since 2010, succeeding Peter Akinola .


Bishop Samuel Adjai Crowther, Bishop of Niger

Christianity came to Nigeria as early as the 14th century through the Augustinians and Capuchins from Portugal. The Church of England's first mission was not founded in Badagry until 1842 by Henry Townsend . In 1964, Samuel Ajayi Crowther , a Yoruba and former slave, was ordained Bishop of Niger. Lagos became a diocese in 1919. In 1951, Leslie Gordon Vining became the first Archbishop of the Province of West Africa. In 1952 the Niger Delta Diocese, the Diocese of Ibadan and the Diocese of Ondo-Benin were founded, and in 1959 the Northern Diocese. Between 1962 and 1977, 10 more dioceses were created: Benin, Ekiti, Enugu, Aba, Kwara, Ilesa, Egba / Egbado, Ijebu and Asaba.

On February 24, 1979, the 16 dioceses in Nigeria were united to form the ecclesiastical province of Nigeria and Timothy O. Olufosoye , Bishop of Ibadan, became Archbishop, Primate and Metropolitan. Between 1980 and 1987, eight other dioceses were created under Olufosoye, namely Kano, Jos, Akoko, Owo, Akure, Orlu, Remo, Awka and Osun.

In 1988 the Bishop of Lagos, J. Abiodun Adetiloye, became the second Primate and Metropolitan of Nigeria and the Church of Nigeria of the Anglican Communion was organized. In 1989 the diocese of Abuja was established on the territory of the new federal capital of Nigeria with Peter J. Akinola as the first bishop.

The 1990s was the decade of evangelism and began with the ordination of missionary bishops for the missionary dioceses of Minna, Kafanchan, Katsina, Sokoto, Makurdi, Yola, Maiduguri, and Bauchi, Egbado and Ife.

The Archbishop of Canterbury proclaimed the Church of Nigeria the fastest growing Church of the Anglican Communion. Between 1993 and 1996 Primate Adetiloye founded the nine dioceses of Oke-Osun, Sabongidda-Ora, Okigwe North, Okigwe South, Ikale-Ilaje, Kabba, Nnewi, Egbu, and Niger Delta North. In December 1996 five more mission dioceses in the north: Kebbi, Dutse, Damaturu, Jalingo and Oturkbo. In 1997 the dioceses of Wusasa and Abakaliki were added, and in 1998 Ughelli and Ibadan North.

In 1999 a total of thirteen new dioceses were established, four in July (Oji River, Ideato, Ibadan South and Offa), eight in November (Lagos West, Ekiti West, Gusau, Gombe, Niger Delta West, Gwagwalada, Lafia and Bida) and in December it was still Oleh, which resulted in 27 new dioceses and 15 mission dioceses in ten years.


Due to its size, the Church of Nigeria was divided into three church provinces in 1997:

  • Province 1, consisting of the dioceses of the west, was headed by Archbishop Adetiloye, who remained the primate of all Nigeria
  • Province 2, consisting of the eastern dioceses, was headed by Bishop Ben Nwankiti of Owerri and, from 1998, Bishop JA Onyemelukwe , Bishop of Niger, as archbishop.
  • the third province, consisting of the northern dioceses, was headed by Peter J. Akinola as archbishop.

In 2002 the number was increased to 10 through a restructuring. Today (2018) there are 14 ecclesiastical provinces.


Archbishop Peter Akinola

Vision of the Church of Nigeria

On January 25, 2000, Peter J. Akinola was appointed Primate of the Church of Nigeria. He presented a vision: the Church of Nigeria should be biblical, spiritually dynamic, united, disciplined, and self-financed. She should be committed to pragmatic evangelism, social work and, as a church, embody the genuine love of Christ. Concrete steps to achieve this vision have been worked out with a specific timetable, and twelve newly established committees are at work to implement the individual points of the vision.

Conflicts in the Anglican Church Fellowship

The Church of Nigeria is on the conservative side within the Anglican church fellowship. She doesn't know the ordination of women.

The head of the Church, Archbishop Peter Akinola, has stated in 2003 that if the open- homosexual living partnership Gene Robinson to bishop of the Diocese of New Hampshire should be ordained, the Church of Nigeria Robinson will not recognize as a bishop and not in Seeing communion with the Diocese of New Hampshire. The same applies to all dioceses of the Episcopal Church that support this election. For the Reformed Episcopal Church , however, there is an agreement to the church fellowship as well as to the Anglican Church in North America founded in 2008 .

Individual evidence

  1. Episcopal Life: World Christianity under new management ?, January 12, 2005 ( Memento of January 29, 2007 in the Internet Archive )
  2. ^ Church of Nigeria: History ( Memento of April 26, 2007 in the Internet Archive )
  3. ^ List of provinces and dioceses
  4. Vision of the Church of Nigeria ( Memento of the original from May 2, 2013 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice.  @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /

Web links