Nigeria is a country of some 140 million inhabitants in a territory of close to 1 million square kilometers. It is a federation of 36 states in which three principal languages are spoken: Hausa (21%), Yoruba (21%), and Ibo (20%), and English as the common language. With respect to religions, there are approximately 45% Muslims, 45% Christians (25% Protestant, 20% Catholic), and 10% traditional religions. The North zone is a majority Muslim and the South is a majority Christian.
The Catholic Church is an enormously committed and alive community in all the places I visited. The celebrations, pastoral councils, associations of men, women, and children, the Legion of Mary, St. Vincent de Paul, … are infinite. One notes the enormous vitality of the Lay Claretian Movement, with a very close relationship to the Congregation of Missionaries.
The Province of East Nigeria is centered, fundamentally, on parish ministry, both in urban and rural zones. It’s presence in the North, with a majority Muslim, stands out in the periphery of the cities. The four schools of the Province are taking shape little by little. The Province has the charge of missions in Ghana and Tchad. The Provincial Government, and especially the Prefect of the Apostolate, are making a great effort in solidifying, in each ministry, the Claretian evangelizing priorities. The work with groups of young adults stands out, which, in short, are united with the activities of the youth groups.
MS 1 (Cf. CC 2; Dir 26.)