Religious Studies Project Topics

Ethno-religious Conflict and Moral Lives of Christian Youths in Kaduna State; A Critical Analysis

Ethno-religious Conflict and Moral Lives of Christian Youths in Kaduna State; A Critical Analysis

Ethno-religious Conflict and Moral Lives of Christian Youths in Kaduna State; A Critical Analysis

Chapter One

Objectives of the study

The overall goal of the research is to:

  1. Investigate the causes of ethnoreligious conflicts in Kaduna state
  2. Investigate the Impact of ethnoreligious conflicts on Moral Lives of Christian Youths
  3. Investigate ways in which ethno-religious conflicts in Kaduna state can be curbed.




Ethnicity: The concept of ethnicity refers to a social identity formation that rests upon culturally specific practices and a unique set of symbols and cosmology”. Lanre Olu Adeyemi (2006).

Ethnicity according to Nnoli (1980: 8) refers to as a social phenomenon associated with interactions among members of different ethnic groups. He further held that ethnic groups are social formations distinguished by communal character (i.e. language and culture) of their boundaries. Also Otite (1990: 6) defined ethnicity as categories of people characterized by cultural criteria of symbols including language, value systems and normative behavior, and whose members are anchored in a particular part of the new state territory. Wolff (2006) observes that ethnicity on its own does not cause conflict as several factors are always at play in each conflict situation, arguing that identity is a fact of human existence, and that it is what people make of it or to what use they deploy it that makes the difference between ethnic cohesion, harmony or conflict. The manner in which activists define the in-group and out-group relationship (the ‘us’ versus ‘them’ sentiment) is crucial in conflict dynamics: “The more confrontational the definitions – that is, the more ‘our’ poor situation is a result of ‘their’ oppression, or the more superior ‘for the worse” (Wolff, 2006). Joireman, (2003) observed that ethnicity refers to people of racially distinct minority groups. The term ethnicity comes from Greek word ‘ethnos’’ originally conceived on the basis of cultural and National identity. Taking a historical view of concept of Ethnicity. Ethnicity did not come in common usage until the later part of the twentieth century. Joireman, (2003) insists that ethnicity is a beginning manifestation of identity while nationalism is politicized shared identity According to Professor Alemika (2004), the International IDEA offered a very broad description of ethnicity that captures its objective as well as aspects of its subjective dimensions: It suggested that: The concept of ethnicity refers to a social identity formation that rests upon culturally specific practices and a unique set of symbols and cosmology.

Ethnicity results from conditions of multiplicity of ethnic groups within a territory in which ethnic difference mobilized for political and economic interests in relation to other groups. This condition of political ethnicity may lead to ethnic nationalism; where by an ethnic group may demand for a separate nation including using violent or terrorist methods to advance its realization. D. A Gubadia And A. O Adekunle (2004).

Religion is the set of beliefs, feelings, dogmas and practices that define the relations between human being and sacred or divinity. A given religion is defined by specific elements of community of believers: Dogmas, sacred books rites, worship, sacrament moral prescription, interdicts organization. The majority of religions have developed starting from a revelation based on the exemplary history of a nation of a prophet or a wise man who taught an ideal of life ( religion and beliefs.visitedon28thmarch, 2018).

The term Religion is such a complex one that agreeing with one meaning is quite difficult…Scholars like B. Taylor (2005)’ define religion ‘as a belief in spiritual beings’. Frazer” on his part defines it thus ‘religion is the propitiation or conciliation of powers superior to man, which are believed to direct and control the cause of nature and human life’. Marx on his part saw religion as the ‘opium of the masses’ (Karl Max, 1879). Religion has been variously defined as a body of truths, laws and rites by which a man is subordinated to transcendent being (Adeniyi, 1993). To Bellah, (1970) religion denotes a set of symbolic forms and actions that relate man to the ultimate conditions of his existence. Drawing similar concern, Peter, (1988) conceptualized religion as system of symbols which act to establish powerful, pervasive and long-lasting mood and motivations in men by formulating conceptions of a general order of existence and clothing these conceptions with such an aura of factuality that moods and motivations seem uniquely realistic. Ogban-iyam, (2005) maintained that religion is one of the phenomena that is often misunderstood in the analysis of interpersonal activities, especially violent conflicts in Nigeria. In many instances, religious riots provide grounds for economic, political, psychological and sociological redress for looting, intimidation and controlling the affairs of co-religionists and non-co-religionist and even that of the hated co-religionists. Threats are purportedly to be issued to one religious sect when adherents of another religious sect occupy the advantageous position within the social production process. When this happened conflicts and violence is endangered. It is usually within that context, that the religious violent become rampant.




  Methodology Research Design

The design of this study is survey and evaluative in nature. This design derives data essentially from respondents through research instrument of questionnaire and interview guide. The choice of this study design is informed by the fact that it enables a researcher to obtain data that may not be found in extant literature which can be utilized in testing hypotheses

Population of the Study

The population of this study shall be the adult residents of Court of Area Kaduna Division, Kaduna State, Federal High Court Kaduna Division Kaduna State in Nigeria, National Orientation Agency Kaduna in Nigeria.

Instructively, based on the multi-ethnic and inter-Religious Staffing and the numerical population strength their inter-State Staff transfers. The targeted population of the study area was made up the vocational worker, civil servant, mature students. This is because they were in a better position to provide the information needed for the study area.




This chapter gives a vivid account of the research findings by concentrating on the followings; data presentation and analysis, identification of major findings, discussion of findings and also implication of the findings on the morality of Christian youths of.



 Discussion of Findings

Based on the analysis in 4.1 the following findings were revealed: Table 4.1.1-5 revealed that, majority of the respondents are female (58.5%), aged between 36-45 years (42.8%), single (45.5%) and have at least attended tertiary education level. The finding also revealed that, and (43.2%) in the study area are Christians.

More so, table 4.2.1 depicted that (64.3%), (60%), (58.7%), and (60%) of the respondents agreed that children, women, Christians and Muslims are often the victims of ethno-religious conflict in the study area. In table 4.3.1 It was revealed that, there is difference (93%) in the morality of Christian youths that experience conflict. Also, majority of the respondents (92.6%) agreed that moral uprightness cannot be attained at a stipulated period where there is crisis. Nevertheless, majority (97.1%) believed that there is significant difference between morality of the Christian youths of people that pass through conflict stress and people that are in conflict free area. Also, the analysis revealed that majority (80.2%) believed that citizens cannot be morally upright during ethnic-religious conflict. The respondents (97.1%) also believed that ethnic-religious conflict retard moral lives of Christian youths in Kaduna state.

Furthermore, in table 4.4.1 revealed the role of religion leaders in curtailing the menace; majority (90.9%) agreed that there should be awareness for religion tolerance. Also, the respondents (82.6%) of them agreed that inter-religious marriage should be encouraged between Muslims and Christians. Among other ways of curtailing the menace is organizing competitive game between Muslims and Christians (82.6%).Sharing of food during festivity among Muslim/Christians (75.0%), adequate respect for each other religion belief and practice (96.1%).


This research work entitled ‘‘The Ethno-Religious Conflict and National Development, in Nigeria, a Critical Analysis” was carried out to identify the influence of ethno-religious conflict Morality of Christian youths in Kaduna. It identifies the causes of ethno-religious conflicts and suggested the possible ways of curtailing it. The research work was divided into chapters, preliminary pages, appendices and references. The chapter one highlighted the background to the study, the research questions, purpose of the study, and statement of the research problem and significance of the study. The scope of the study and operational definitions of terms was also captured in the chapter one respectively.

More so, chapter two (2) of this research work reviewed the relevant and updated Literatures on the topic of study. It showcased the theoretical framework, the Conceptual framework such as concept of Conflict, Religion, Ethnicity and National Development. Also, empirical review and summary of relevant Literatures were contained in chapter two.

Nevertheless, the research methodology was documented in chapter three (3) of  the project work and it was divided into sub-headings; namely: Research Design, Area of the Study, Population of the Study, Sampling Technique, Sampling Size Determination, Method Data Collection, Instruments for Data Collection, Validation of the Instrument, Reliability of the Instruments, Procedure for Administration of Instruments, Data Analysis Techniques.                          .

Finally, the data presentation and analysis from the questionnaires retrieved successfully was presented in chapter four (4) of the research work. Also discussion of findings and implication of the study on Morality of Christian youths in Kaduna. The summary, conclusion, and recommendations were contained in the chapter five (5) of the project work.


From the study it is crystal clear that, crisis have hindered genuine morality of Christian youths in Kaduna. Ethno-religious conflict has been an obstacle to progress, economic prosperity, peaceful co-existence and over all social morality of the Christian youths of Nigeria because of its destructive tendencies. To change this evil on the nation’s development, let adherents of various religious practice what they preach as love, and we as Nigerians must rise to the challenge, all hands must be on deck, we must understand our differences, resolve to respect one another and live together as one regardless of tribe and religion, the government should become transparent, responsive, proactive and equitable in their allocation of national resources and political powers. If the religious conflict is solved in this country Nigeria, it shall be practically possible to see a Nigeria that is truly the giant in terms of morality of christian youths.

To ensure religious harmony, cohesion and peaceful co-existence among the adherents of various religions, particularly between the Christians and Muslims for the purpose of morality of Christian youths in Kaduna, recommendations are put forth.

Based on the findings it could be concluded that ethno-religious conflict has negative impact on the socio-morality of the Christian youths of the people of Nigeria. Having examined the existence of ethnicity and diversity of religion; religion as the source of conflict, causes of ethno-religious conflicts, review of such conflicts and as well as the effects and implications of such crisis on the nation’s national development, it will be pertinent to see ethnicity and religion as instruments of peace, harmony, human justice, equality, respect of human integrity, right of individuals and social integration, rather than instruments of disunity, conflicts and rivalry with the society. Though, a number of steps are been taken by the federal government to curb ethnic-religious conflicts in terms of placating the restive minority groups but much seem not to have been achieved.

Furthermore, to change this evil on the nation’s national development, we as Nigerians must rise to the challenge, all hands must be on desk, we must understand our differences, resolve to respect one another and live together as one regardless of tribe and religion the government should become transparent, responsive, proactive and equitable in their allocation of national resources and political powers. When the issue of ethno-religious conflicts is solved in Nigeria, we shall see a Nigeria that is truly the giant not only of Africa but a world economic giant. For many years, the violent conflict going in Nigeria has always been unfairly described as contestation over land and environmental resources between farmers and herdsmen, Muslim and Christians.

Finally, it could be ascertained that religious leaders and government agencies have a role in curtailing ethno-religious conflicts to ensure morality of youths.


Morality of Christian youths in Kaduna and societal wellbeing can only be achieved in an environment where multi-culturalism, multi-religiosity, love and peaceful-co-existence are guaranteed.

The first recommendation is for the country to establish a Federal Ministry of Religion whose duty will be educating the populace on the principles of equity, freedom of religion, religious tolerance and the power of unity and love for one another. The commission should also be charged to find out the primary root causes of religious and ethnicity crisis in Nigeria and ways of eliminating them.

Government should convene an Ad hoc’ National summit on Religion with the primary mandate of developing a National Policy and strategy on Religion (NPSR). This summit should be drawn from major stakeholders, i.e. the religions groups in the country (Christians and Muslims) religious practitioners, and also state representative.

The Christians and Muslims leaders in Nigeria must continue to reach out and sustain the dialogue processes, spear head inter-religious education and seek every opportunity to educate its followers to shun violence so as to give room for social and morality of Christian youths in Kaduna in the nation.

Christians and Muslims leaders should endeavour to impress on their followers the teaching on the solidarity of humankind, and forgiveness (Martin Luther King Jr. as cited by Kunhiyop (2004) opines: ‘We must develop and maintain the capacity of forgive’.

We must be willing to overcome the temptation to mix religion and politics. And also make religion a tool of our national partisan politics because of the intricacies involved.

One on one Dialogue, this should not be a conversation involving two persons, but the exchange of ideas or view or opinions and amiability. It has to do with exchanges of religious experiences by those who have faith in their religious traditions for mutual enrichment therefore, it is the willingness to question one’s self-understanding and openness to understand others and to resolve misunderstanding and break down barriers, hostility and crisis for peaceful co-existence.

The good thing about dialogue is that it has never been tried and prove wanting as an instrument for the resolution of crisis.

Dialogue and reconciliation centers should be established at local, state and geo-political zone in the nation where matters of religious differences between members of difference religious will be discussed and resolved.

All religions in the country should exhibit the attitude of religious tolerance in dealing with people of other religion. This is very necessary for achieving religious peace and harmony and the entire country.

The government should involve necessary legal and constitutional provisions to ensure social security and stability reign supreme in the country.

All ethnic groups should respect the rights of one another and to make use of the time-honored strategies employed in the past by various ethnic groups and communities for achieving conflicts.

The government should alleviate poverty from Nigerian populace that is very necessary to reduce tension and ensure violence free behavior among the citizens.

Both government and well to do individuals should create employment opportunity for the teeming number of school leavers and graduates of tertiary institutions. This will go long way in reducing frustration and disillusionment which tend to breed tension and social instability among the citizens in the country.

Barriers of all forms, suspicion, misunderstanding or willful misinterpretations of others intention must give way for trust, frankness and fidelity in expressing the truth we know about our own religions belief.

The employed should not allow religion and ethnicity to be used to divide their ranks by deceitful and self-seeking members of the capitalist elites who are masquerading as religious puritans or political liberations or both.

Employment should be given to citizens on the platform of meritocracy thereby crippling all forms of god-fatherism that may lead to conflict.

‘Let us forget our differences… To which Ahmadu Bello replied…’ No let us understand our differences. I am a Muslim and a northerner. You are a Christian and an easterner, by understanding our differences we can build unity in our country.

There must be deliberate and careful monitoring of events and situations and taking steps to avert situations that could lead to conflict through dialogue.

Getting power in to political offices should be on worth not ethnicity or religion, so as to control what has cause lack of productivity in leadership in the past years.

Education as often said is the right of every child therefore; it should gain high priority in terms of recruitment of qualitative staff, so as to eliminate the rate of illiteracy that may lead to destructive crisis.

The country should establish a federal ministry of Religion whose duty will be educating the populace on the principles of equity, freedom of religion, religious tolerance and the power of unity and love for one another.

Religious leaders, tribal leaders and stakeholders must be encouraged to always come together to dialogue, negotiate and reach compromises on how to solve common problems or perceived crisis.

There should be a reform of the current curriculum on religious study in Nigeria that would generate a culture and orientation of multi-religiosity in our children and youth, as well as a commensurate programme of re-orientation of the adult population.

There should be increase in the exchange of intelligence information, and citizens should Support programmes and policies at all levels of government that address poverty, youth unemployment, and gender inequality.


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