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Online Religion in Nigeria: The Internet Church and Cyber Miracles

TitleOnline Religion in Nigeria: The Internet Church and Cyber Miracles
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2012
AuthorsChiluwa, I
JournalJournal of Asian and African Studies
KeywordsChristianity, Church, Nigeria, Online, religion

This study examines the use of the Internet and computer-mediated communication for Christian worship in Nigeria. The seven largest and fastest growing churches in Nigeria are selected for the study, highlighting the benefits and dangers associated with online worship. The utilization of the Internet to disseminate the Christian message and attract membership across the world, and the dissemination of religious tenets and fellowship online, have resulted in the emergence of the ‘Internet church’ for members who worship online in addition to belonging to a local church. Most interesting is the increasing widespread claim of spiritual experience or ‘miracles’ through digital worship. However, there is fear that online worship endangers the offline house fellowship system, which is viewed as the reproductive organ of the local offline church. Exclusive online worshippers are also said to be susceptible to deception and divided loyalty.