Orthodox churches in Nigeria: Top 10 list and interesting facts

Orthodox churches in Nigeria: Top 10 list and interesting facts

There are numerous Orthodox churches in Nigeria today. The Orthodox mission in the country began as an ethnic need for the hundreds of Greek and Cypriot immigrants who had relocated to Nigeria. The first Orthodox church in Nigeria was built decades before the colonial era. Since then, the mission has expanded tremendously and now has many churches across the country.

list of orthodox churches in Nigeria
The inside of a large cathedral. Photo: pixabay.com, @Tama66
Source: UGC

The building of the first Orthodox Church in Nigeria was facilitated by a Cypriot family known as the Levedis. It was dedicated to the Resurrection of Christ.

Examples of orthodox churches in Nigeria

The Orthodox Church is the second-largest Christian church in the world, with over 220 million baptized converts. Here is a list of Orthodox churches in Nigeria and some fascinating facts about them.

1. Cathedral Church of Christ Marina, Lagos

The Cathedral Church of Christ Marina, Lagos, is among the oldest and most popular churches in Nigeria. In 2017, the church marked its 150th anniversary. The church's current building was designed in 1924, with construction beginning in 1925. This was to relocate the church from its previous ancient building, constructed in 1867.

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Interesting facts

  • Dr Samuel Ajayi Crowther, a formerly enslaved Yoruba man, became the first bishop of the Cathedral Church of Christ Marina, Lagos.
  • Dr Samuel Ajayi Crowther's relics were transferred to the cathedral in 1976.

2. Cathedral Church of Saints Peter and Paul

names of churches in Nigeria
A view inside a church. Photo: pixabay.com, @Skitterphoto
Source: UGC

It is hard to come across a list of names of churches in Nigeria that does not mention The Cathedral of Saints Peter and Paul. It is a church located in Abeokuta, the capital of Ogun State. It is the seat of the Diocese of Abeokuta. The church was started by the Fathers of the Society of African Missions (SMA) in 1880. In 1997, it was elevated to cathedral status.

Interesting facts

  • It is among the oldest Nigerian churches, having existed for over 140 years.
  • The cathedral has numerous entrances and a high, curved ceiling.

3. St. George Coptic Orthodox Church

The universal Coptic Orthodox Church is widely believed to be the oldest church in the world. It was founded by St. Mark the Evangelist, author of the second gospel in Alexandria, Egypt, in the year 61 A.D. The word 'Copt' means Egyptian.

The first Coptic Orthodox Church in Nigeria was built in Lagos in 2005. The newest one is the St. George Coptic Orthodox Church in Calabar.

Interesting facts

  • It has its roots in Egypt and the Apostle Mark
  • Coptic originates from a Greek word that means Egyptian.
  • The Coptic Church currently has over 10 million church members.

4. Antioch Christian Evangelical Assembly

The Antioch Christian Evangelical Assembly was built in honour of St Ignatius of Antioch, who was arrested and killed by Roman soldiers. He died as a martyr at a Roman arena. His death was meant to be a lesson to Christians, but it encouraged them. The church is situated at 82 Old Ojo Rd, Amuwo, Lagos, Nigeria.

Interesting facts

  • Ignatius referred to himself as Theophorous or the God-bearer.
  • Ignatius was the third bishop of the church at Antioch.

5. Saint Nectarius Orthodox Church

Saint Nectarius Orthodox Church is a Greek-based church and part of the African patriarchate. St Nectarius was a Greek martyr and one of the seven missionaries sent by Pope Fabian from Rome to Gaul to spread Christianity there.

Interesting facts

  • The head of this church is catechist Rom Nwankwo
  • Besides being a missionary, Saint Nectarius was a philanthropist and writer.

6. Saint John the Chrysostom

orthodox church in Nigeria
An expansive church hall. Photo: pixabay.com, @ddzphoto
Source: UGC

The church was started in Antioch by three hierarchs named St John Chrysostom, St Gregory the theologian, and St Basil the great. John Chrysostom was an important Early Church Father who served as archbishop of Constantinople. He is known for his preaching and public speaking and his denunciation of abuse of authority by both ecclesiastical and political leaders.

Interesting facts

  • The three hierarchs are all celebrated on the 30th of January each year.
  • It was previously known as the Church of Assumption of Mary
  • It is located in Anambra State.

7. Annunciation of the Theotokos Orthodox Church

The church is named after one of the most incredible feasts in the Christian church. The Annunciation of the Theotokos is one of the Twelve Great Feasts of the Church. It is third in the list of Great Feasts, after the Nativity of the Lord and Holy Theophany. It means a celebration of the great news of the birth of Christ.

Interesting facts

  • The feast of the Annunciation of the Theotokos is dedicated to women and mothers
  • The church is located in Edo State

8. St. Archangels Orthodox Church

The St Archangels church can be found in numerous parts of the world, Nigeria included. The church is named after the three archangels, namely Gabriel, Raphael, and Michael. Archpriest Loannis Okolo currently heads the church in Nigeria.

Interesting facts

  • The archangels after whom the church is named are said to defeat Satan in the Apocalypse and are the princes of the angelic hierarchy.
  • The Nigerian church is located in Neni, Anambra

9. Temple in the Name of St Christopher

The church has a picture of the famous St Christopher on the door. The congregants believe that you will not meet accidental death on any day you gaze upon the image. St Christopher is said to have been very handsome, so he asked God to disfigure him so to avoid temptations, and it was done to him.

Interesting facts

  • St Christopher is said to have carried Christ on his shoulders in the form of a child.
  • Some women were sent to persuade St Christopher to deny Christ cunningly, but they left as Christians.

10. The Pan-African Orthodox Church

examples of orthodox churches in Nigeria
Beautiful church walls. Photo: pixabay.com, @1899441
Source: UGC

The Pan-African Orthodox Church was established in 1967 in Detroit, Michigan. Rev. Albert B. Cleage Jr. founded the church to institutionalize the Israelite legacy. The church has left an indelible mark on black people, especially in terms of their collective consciousness and the establishment of institutions that work for their good.

Interesting facts

  • The church is also known as the Shrine of the Black Madonna
  • It is primarily based on the ancient Israelite legacy

How is Orthodox different from Catholic?

The Catholic Church largely believes the Pope to be infallible in matters of doctrine. Orthodox believers, on the other hand, reject the infallibility of the Pope and consider him human and, therefore, subject to error.

Is Greek Orthodox the same as Catholic?

No, it is not. Roman Catholic is also known as Western Catholic and differs in doctrine from the Eastern Catholic, also known as the Greek Orthodox Church.

Does Orthodox have a pope?

names of churches in Nigeria
The Pope greeting followers. Photo: pixabay.com, @Annett_Klingner
Source: UGC

The church has no central doctrinal or governmental authority equivalent to the head of the Roman Catholic Church, the Pope.

Which country has the most Orthodox Christians?

Eastern Orthodoxy is the predominant religion in Russia, where 77% of the citizens are part of the church.

What are Orthodox beliefs?

Orthodoxy believes that the Christian Faith and the church are inseparable. They believe that it is not possible to know Christ, to share in the life of the Holy Trinity, or to be considered a Christian except through the church.

Why did Catholic and Orthodox split?

The split, commonly known as the Great Schism, came about due to a complex mix of religious disagreements and political conflicts, including the use of unleavened bread as a sacrament.

Which is the largest religion in the world?

Christianity is the world's largest religion, with approximately 2.382 billion followers.

There are various Orthodox churches in Nigeria. These are spread across the country and vary in numerous aspects, such as size, year of establishment, and leadership.

READ ALSO: Old-school activities for church services the congregation will enjoy

Legit.ng recently published an article about some of the most interesting old-school activities that a church congregation can enjoy. Are you looking to spice up your church services but don't know where to start? You can try some old-school activities for the church members.

There are numerous tried-and-true fun activities to do at church that your congregation will enjoy. Whether you use these at every service or only occasionally, they are sure to bring smiles and laughter to the people in your church.

Source: Legit.ng

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