Orthodox churches in Nigeria

Orthodox churches in Nigeria

Christians began to spread their influence due to English missionaries who managed to convert to the Anglicanism Igbo people and most of the Yoruba people. Since the British authorities forbade missionaries to preach to northern tribes, in the colonial period Hausa Muslims remained without any trace of the religious influence of Europeans.

Orthodox churches
Orthodox churches in Nigeria

Currently, Nigeria is the third country in the world (after the United States and Britain) in terms of the number of people professing Protestantism. There is information that at present Protestantism is actively spreading among the northern Muslim tribes and nationalities.

At the same time, there is a process of greater radicalization of Nigerian Muslims, as evidenced by the introduction of Sharia in a number of northern states, which caused thousands of Christians to leave their homes and exacerbated inter-religious relations in recent years.

How did Orthodox Churches appear in Nigeria?

Orthodox Churches appear in Nigeria
Orthodox churches in Nigeria

Orthodox appeared in the country during the colonial period and was represented by Greek immigrants. In 1966, the first Orthodox Church in the country was built for the Greek community. It happened with the money of the Cypriot brothers Anastasia and Christodoula Levedi. It was dedicated to the Resurrection of Christ. The temple is located in the capital of the country.

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Now it has become the cathedral of the Nigerian Diocese of the Alexandrian Orthodox Church, and its parishioners are not only Greeks, but also Russians, Lebanese, Georgians, Bulgarians and, of course, Orthodox Nigerians living in the country. The names of orthodox churches in Nigeria have already become known to a lot of people.

Nigerian Orthodox church
Orthodox churches in Nigeria

It is worth emphasizing that the appeal of the native inhabitants of the country to Orthodoxy itself began not because of the activity of missionaries but as a result of spiritual searches of the Nigerians themselves.

African Protestantism is characterized by fragmentation, the emergence of new groups and currents. In the 1980s, in Eastern Nigeria, the ‘Church of Calvary Mercy’ was formed among the Igbo people. It united several communities. The members of this organization set out to find the ‘original Church of Christ’. Serious study and search led them to the conclusion that this church is the Orthodox Church, and in 1985 they all accepted Orthodoxy. Later, a lot of other Nigerians followed their example.

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Nigerian Orthodox church
Orthodox churches in Nigeria

The successful dissemination of true faith in this region led to the formation of the Diocese of Nigeria in 1997 in the city of Lagos by the Alexandrian Orthodox Church. Its canonical territory also extends to neighboring countries - Benin, Niger, and Togo. Since that time and to this day, the diocese is headed by Metropolitan Alexander.

Currently, 23 parishes operate in Nigeria and new ones appear regularly. Orthodoxy is developed and relatively rooted in the states of Anambra, Imo, but in recent years it has begun to extend beyond the borders of Eastern Nigeria to other areas, in particular, parishes have appeared in the states of Edo, Benue, and River.

Nigerian Orthodoxy
Orthodox churches in Nigeria

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A feature of Nigerian Orthodoxy is the relative prevalence of monasticism, which in general is not very characteristic of ‘the black’ Orthodox of other African countries. Among the clergy of the diocese, there are five hieromonks. Also on the territory of the Metropolitan Residence in Lagos, there is a man's monastery in the name of the Monk Anthony the Great with a dedicated church and a seminary.

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The abbot of the monastery is the Metropolitan Alexander, there are four monks in it. And not far from Lagos on the island of Tarkva Bay there is a female monastery in the name of the Apostle Andrew.

Orthodox church in Nigeria
Orthodox churches in Nigeria

Active missionary, social, and translational activities are carried out, and women's and youth's Orthodox organizations operate in Nigeria too. Support is provided by the American Missionary Society of the Orthodox Church, paying salaries to 11 Nigerian priests, as well as the Hellas Orthodox Church.

So, with the financial support of the Serra Diocese of the Hellenic Orthodox Church, a temple is built in honor of the holy heavenly forces of the ethereal in the city of Neni, the state of Anambra. In addition to the seminary, there is also an average Orthodox school, where more than a hundred children are currently studying.

Orthodox Christian church
Orthodox churches in Nigeria

Speaking about his ministry, Metropolitan Alexander points out that it takes place in difficult conditions since it is in the east of Nigeria where the practice of kidnapping foreigners for ransom is widespread. ‘Often the police, local authorities, the Greek Embassy or the Christians themselves prevent me from holding events or advise me to be very cautious’, he says.

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So, for example, because of such a request of local authorities in 2008, he had to abandon the self-made mass baptism of the new converts in the Niger River and let do it to one of his assistant priests. At the same time, there are great prospects for Orthodoxy in the country, ‘there is interest and even direct requests for the catechesis to be organized by the leaders and various local rulers’. In the opinion of Metropolitan Alexander, it is necessary to continue the mission, because so we are participating in the work of Christ, ‘who is the first great and true Missionary’.

If you would like to go and pray, in conclusion, here is the list of orthodox churches in Nigeria.

10 Orthodox Churches in Nigeria

The Cathedral in honor of the Resurrection of Christ
Orthodox churches in Nigeria

1. The Cathedral in honor of the Resurrection of Christ

  • Abbot: Hieromonk Maxim Nachet.
  • Address: POBox 75550, Victoria Island, Lagos.
  • Tel .: (+ 234-1) 7915880.
  • Fax: (+ 234-1) 2631659.

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2. Assumption Cathedral

  • Abbot: Archimandrite Chrysostom (Oneyka).
  • Address: POBox 151, Nakna Town, Orumba LGA, Anambra State.
  • Tel: (234) 803-7159.
  • E-mail: fadananka@yahoo.com
Temple in the name of St. Christopher
Orthodox churches in Nigeria

3. Temple in the name of St. Christopher

  • Abbot: Protopresbyter Peter Amadi.
  • Address: POBox 37, Awo-Idemili, Orsu LGA, Imo State.
  • Tel: (234) 806-3396 834.

4. Saint Anthony Orthodox Chapel

  • Address: 75550, Victoria Island, Lagos, Nigeria

5. Saint Seraphim of Sarov Orthodox Church

  • Archdiocese: Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Alexandria and All Africa
  • Diocese: Diocese of Nigeria
  • Town: Port Harcourt
  • Area: Rivers
  • Country: Nigeria
Saints Archangels Orthodox Church
Orthodox churches in Nigeria

6. Saints Archangels Orthodox Church

  • Archdiocese: Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Alexandria and All Africa
  • Diocese: Diocese of Nigeria
  • Head: Archpriest Ioannis Okolo
  • Town: Neni
  • Location: Anambra
  • Country: Nigeria

7. Saint Ignatius the Theophorus Orthodox Church

  • Archdiocese: Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Alexandria and All Africa
  • Diocese: Diocese of Nigeria
  • Head: Fr. Nikolaos Nde
  • Town: Ukpor
  • Location: Anambra
  • Country: Nigeria
Saint Nectaire Orthodox Church
Orthodox churches in Nigeria

8. Saint Nectaire Orthodox Church

  • Archdiocese: Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Alexandria and All Africa
  • Diocese: Diocese of Nigeria
  • Head: Catechist Rom. Nwankwo
  • Town: Gboko
  • Location: Benue
  • Country: Nigeria

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9. Annunciation of the Theotokos Orthodox Church

  • Archdiocese: Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Alexandria and All Africa
  • Diocese: Diocese of Nigeria
  • Town: Benin City
  • State: Edo
  • Country: Nigeria
Saint John the Chrysostom Orthodox Church
Orthodox churches in Nigeria

10. Saint John the Chrysostom Orthodox Church

  • Archdiocese: Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Alexandria and All Africa
  • Diocese: Diocese of Nigeria
  • Town: Owu Amakohia
  • State: Imo
  • Country: Nigeria

Have you already chosen Orthodox church you would like to visit? Do not waste your time! Choose now!

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Source: Legit.ng

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