After nearly 16 years of military rule, Nigeria adopted a new constitution in 1999 and a peaceful transition to civilian government was completed. The new government still faces the difficult task of addressing corruption and mismanagement, while also diffusing longstanding ethnic and religious tensions. Despite some difficulties, the April 2003 elections marked the first civilian transfer of power in Nigeria’s history.
Nigeria has large oil reserves but much of this has been squandered or embezzled. Over 34% of the population live below the poverty line and 28% are unemployed.
In recent years, Nigeria has experienced major religious conflict in the north, resulting in churches being burned and thousands of Christians and Muslims being killed. Since 1999, Muslim state leaders have imposed sharia law in eight northern states.
Nigerian Christians have been actively reaching out with the gospel and the growth of the church has been extraordinary. Nigeria is home to the largest Anglican Church in the world, with 11 million people in church on Sundays. It is estimated that there are 23.3 million evangelical Christians in Nigeria.
- Region: Africa
- Capital: Abuja
- Population: 191.6 million
- Area: 923,768 km2
- Religions: Muslim 43.3%, Roman Catholic 16.1%, Protestant 13.7%, independent Christian 10.7%, Anglican 8.1%, ethnic religions 5.6%
- Languages: English (official), Hausa, Yoruba, Igbo and over 500 other indigenous languages.