1.0 CHAPTER ONE
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
In Nigerian politics, especially in the post-independence era, the church has played a significant role. Whatever perspective one takes on the church, the reality remains that it interacts with politics in Nigeria. Scholars have reacted to the clear interplay between religion and politics, and the equivocal position of the church in the growth, development, and survival of the Nigerian nation appears to be the consensus of such views (Kukah 98; Kasfelt,94; Enwerem, 995; Kukah & Falola, 96; Falola, 400; Loimeier, 600; Nmah, 300; Imo, 680; Marshall, 500; Adebanwi, 200; Sodiq, 800; Onapajo, 400; Obiefuna, 100). As a result, it's not a trivial subject to ask how religion plays a role in politics, because it determines, in part, how much value Nigerians place on their faith. That is to say, church influence on Nigerian politics could be positive or detrimental.
As a result, the purpose of this research is to demonstrate the involvement of the church in Nigerian politics, which has ramifications for national development. Religion is depicted as two sides of a coin, both bearing positive and bad implications for national development in this approach. The report also included suggestions for how the church may be used to improve Nigeria's political life. Some essential words must be defined in order to gain a better understanding of the topic of this paper. Hence, terms worthy of clarification are religion, politics and development. church has been defined by many scholars from different purviews. (Ugwu 2) defines church as “faith and practices involving mankind's interaction with what is considered sacred.” To put it in a broader context,(Merriam 250) sees church as: The feeling or manifestation of human love, terror, or awe of some superhuman and overruling power, whether by declaration of belief, observance of rituals and ceremonies, or by the conduct of life, is the external existence of God... to whom allegiance, duty, and honor are owed. According to Iwe in (Nmah 7), the term "church" can be defined from four perspectives: subjectively, objectively, morally, and institutionally. Subjectively defined, church is man’s natural and innate consciousness of his dependence on a transcendent superhuman Being and the consequent natural and spontaneous propensity to render homage and worship to him. A complex or configuration of doctrines, regulations, and rituals by which man demonstrates his loyalty to a transcendental Being, God, can be defined objectively as church. On the other hand, it is described ethically as a virtue in a person, an enduring characteristic, or a habit that causes the person who possesses it to pay the depth of honour and adoration that he owes to God, firmly and well. As a result, church, like any other social institution, can be characterized institutionally as having its own particular system of beliefs, activities, and values. For the present study, the definition of church given by Obiefuna (10) will be adhered here. Obiefuna sees church as, “In human civilization, there is a phenomenon. It is a part of existence, but it shapes social institutions such as marriage, politics, education (formal and informal), economy, law, and health.”
Politics, according to Hornby (899), is defined as "the acts involved in obtaining and exercising power in public life, as well as the ability to influence decisions that impact a country or a society." Politics is the art of governing a city, according to its etymology. Politics, according to Iwe in (Nmah 10), is the process of adjusting and interplaying power and interests within a society's public life and affairs on national and multi-national levels. Politics, according to Dahl in (Okafor 200), is about who gets what, when, and how. It is a political decision to support a specific church, religion, or set of ideals in a society rather than an individual. Politics is mainly about good governance, and it entails the organization of power in order to achieve specific objectives. Scholars have defined development in a variety of ways. (Rodney 81) sees Political development is a multi-faceted process in human history that results in increasing skill, discipline, responsibility, and material well-being at the political level. In common language, political development refers to the process of enhancing a nation's political potential until it reaches a stable position. It's a method of letting people to achieve their own goals. As a result, political development requires the sharpening of human capacities and the constructive organization of a nation's mentality, because the agents and beneficiaries of political development are the humans of a given nation. political Development, therefore, is a multiple process through which a nation may attain growth, change and stability in all facets of existence.
Church has a major role in the daily lives of individuals all around the country; the way we interact with one another, our choice of clothing, food, and politics are all influenced by religion, specifically the church. In other words, faith and politics are inextricably linked, and it allows man to participate in society by running for political office and contributing his philosophy. The population of Nigeria, which numbers over 200 million people, is approximately evenly split between Christians and Muslims. The importance of this separation is demonstrated by the fact that most Nigerians choose to identify themselves through church rather than nationality; however, this is not true in all circumstances. As a result, the realms of religion, secularism, and politics are becoming increasingly entwined, both overtly and covertly. Sectarian politics is, by definition, problematic. As a result, it is necessary to examine the role of the church in Nigerian politics since independence. In addition, the research will look into how church might help our politics achieve long-term development. Therefore the study centers on the role of church in politics
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
The study is interested in determining the role that these churches can play in politics, given the recent increase in and establishment of Christian churches in Nigeria, owing to the high rate of unemployment and people's attempts to find greener pastures, all in the name of doing God's work (based on observation). issues such as a lack of political will to manage and oversee our political system, it's safe to say that most churches are failing to play their part in politics for a better Nigeria. The following is the problem that this study is addressing: What role do Christian churches play in American politics? How can Christian churches effectively play a major role in achieving political development?
1.3 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The purpose of this study is to examine the role of church in politics: the reflection of the role of nkst church
1) To assess the level of religious interference in the Nigerian politics
2) To examine the significant role of the church in the Nigerian political system
3) To examine the relationship between the church and Nigerian politics
4) To examine the origin of Christianity in Nigeria
5) To recommend ways the church can help improve political governance in Nigeria
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
1) What is the level of religious interference in the Nigerian politics?
2) What is the significant role of the church in the Nigerian political system?
3) What is the relationship between the church and Nigerian politics?
4) What is the origin of Christianity in Nigeria?
5) What are ways the church can help improve political governance in Nigeria?
1.5 RESEARCH HYPOTHESES
H0: There is no significant influence of church on Nigerian politics
H1: There is a significant influence of church on Nigerian politics
HO: There is no significant relationship between the church and Nigerian politics
H1: There is a significant relationship between the church and Nigerian politics
1.6 SIGNIFICANCE OF STUDY
Christian churches have already established their roots in Nigeria, and it is therefore necessary that they should be investigated to determine whether or not they provide or address the relevant needs of the community. This study will identify the needs of the community in order to help Christian churches to take the necessary steps to reduce the current problems faced by the community as much as possible. It is expected that the results of this study will benefit the community, Christian churches and Political system in Nigeria. It could also help them to re-examine their responsibility as a church. Finally, the result of this study will contribute to the existing body of national and international literature related to the role of Christian churches in Politics.
1.7 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
The study would cover The Role of Church in Politics: The Reflection of the Role of Nkst Church
1.8 LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
The researcher was faced with the following constraints in carrying out this study:
Time: The time within the researcher is too short to carry on the detail study on this topic.
Resources: Another constraint of the researcher is financial resources to carry on the detail study of this topic.Data: Another limitation to this study will be lack of data to make valid study on the research problem.
1.9 OPERATIONAL DEFINITION OF KEY TERMS
Christian: A religious person who believes in Jesus Christ, belongs to a Christian denomination, and follows Jesus Christ's teachings or shows his attributes or spirit. Christians are persons who believe in or consider themselves to be followers of Jesus Christ. Christianity is the most widely practiced of all world religions, with significant representation on all of the world's populous continents.
Church: A structure constructed for Christian groups to worship in. It might be small and basic, just big enough to hold a neighborhood congregation, or it can be massive and complex, like a grand cathedral, with numerous sections for different religious activities and observances. God's Church is not only located in a beautiful and majestic temple or building constructed by human hands. It's more than just a group of people meeting in one location. It is more than just a gathering of people. It's a spiritual gathering. Remember that the church is the body of Christ, with Christ as its head. The genuine church of God is a full body made up of people who are connected in the Holy Spirit, with Christ as its head.
Church as Community: This is a congregation of regenerated Christians who acknowledge Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. They organize themselves under qualified leadership, gather regularly for preaching and worship, observe the biblical sacraments of baptism and communion, are unified by the Spirit and disciplined for holiness, and scatter to fulfill the Great Commandment and the Great Commission as missionaries in the world for God's glory and their joy, and scatter to fulfill the Great Commandment and the Great Commission as missionaries in the world for God's glory and their joy.
Politics: Politics are the actions or activities concerned with achieving and using power in a country or society.
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