There are many popular Christian denominations in Nigeria despite that the country is a secular society. Nigeria is a large African country with several ethnic groups. As a result, there is diversity in religion, belief, and culture. It is also the largest African country with the highest Christian population. Christianity in Nigeria is more predominant in the Southeast, South-south, and Southwest states of Nigeria. Around 49% of Nigerians are Christians under various Christian denominations.
Nigeria has witnessed the birth of so many Christian denominations since the advent of Christianity in Nigeria in the 15th Century. Some were created as a new church and some were as a result of a rebirth from an old denomination. Others emerge through divergence of beliefs in Nigeria.
Popular Christian denominations in Nigeria include in no particular order and in the exclusion of some:
The Catholic denomination
This includes the Roman Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church. These churches believe themselves to be the one true church: first ever existing church with Christ himself as the founder. It is also believed that other churches emanated from it as a result of a breakout by some members who did not agree with some of their practices. It has has a vast population of Nigerians in its spread all around the country.
The Protestant denomination
This denomination is said to have come into existence as a result of some disagreements with the Catholic denomination. This denomination of Christianity believes in the Trinity. It believes the Bible to be the only source of Christian authority and practice the Baptism of Immersion. Some of the churches under this denomination include; the Anglican Church, the Presbyterian Church of Nigeria, the John Wesley Methodist Church, etc.
The Pentecostal denomination
This Denomination believes in the direct personal contact with the Holy Spirit rather than through baptism. They believe in the gift of the Holy spirits like Speaking in Tongues and gift of Healing. They preach accepting Jesus as Personal Lord and Savior.
Most of the churches under this denomination are often founded by particular individuals. There are so many churches under this denomination. Popular ones include: Deeper Christian Life Ministry founded by William Kumuyi in 1982; The Redeemed Christian Church of God founded by Josiah Akindayomi in 1952; Living Faith Church founded by David Oyedepo in 1981; the Celestial Church of Christ By Joseph Oshoffa in 1947 etc.
The Non-trinitarian denomination
This includes churches who do not believe in the Holy Trinity, that is, equality of God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. They believe that Jesus was the son of the Father and was subordinate and distinct from him. Some of them also believe that it is one God who just played different roles at different points in time. Others believe that the Father and the Son are distinct and the Holy Spirit is the manifestation of their powers.
These Churches are prevalent but have the least percentage of Christianity. Some popular ones are; The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, Jehovah’s Witness, the United Church of God, etc.