COVID19: What Changed About Religion in Nigeria?

Where does God self-quarantine during an epidemic?
Mattia Ferraresi

A 2019 Pew Research showed that 65% of Nigerians thought religion plays a very important role in their lives and the country. With a 46.3% Christian population, a 46% Muslim population, and 7.4% African traditional religion faithful, religion is at the center of living patterns and attitudes in Nigeria.

Since the restriction on religious gatherings due to the outbreak of the novel coronavirus in Nigeria, religious houses have adopted news ways to carry out their activities, with most of them holding online while others have not totally complied. As the country goes into the second phase of easing its lockdown, we look at how religious activities have fared. 

In a survey we conducted between April 6 and April 30, 2020, ResearcherNG asked respondents how religious activities have changed for them since the pandemic. 55.5% said they attend religious events online only, 25.5% said the number of times they go to physical religious gatherings has reduced while 18.6% said nothing has changed about the way practice religion. The other 0.4% declined to respond. 

How We Did It
ResearcherNG conducted this study to understand the Coronavirus pandemic has affected religious activities. We surveyed 1,121  Nigerian adults in April 2020 for this report. The surveys were mostly conducted via online channels and weighted to match Nigeria’s adult population by.age, gender and location. We also held in-depth interviews and focus group meetings to validate responses. 

It will be instructive to note that in sampling errors, question wordings and the peculiarities of conducting surveys such as this can introduce bias to some aspects of this polls. However, we took accurate measures to ensure error is at its barest.