Lagos – Center of the Jesus Fan Club

The greatest cause for traffic jams in Lagos, is the Sunday flood of people to the Christian Church of God. The church, with over 4000 parishes, is the biggest church in Nigeria. And its Redemption Camp on the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway is the largest parish of them all. More resembling a small town than a church, it boasts a university, a cinema, multiple stores, and an auditorium seating 1.2 million worshippers.

But the Redeemed Christian Church of God is just a single droplet in the sea of Christian fanaticism. Everyone seems to use God as their personal insurance policy, holifying their children by giving them virtuous names like Heaven, Gospel and Hosanna. They name their restaurant “God Is With Us” or their shoe shop “Jesus Power”. Even the minibuses and taxis are adorned with phrases of adoration: “God’s Time Is The Best”, “The Joy of the Lord Is My Strength” or “Go and Sin No More”, as if this would guarantee accident-free rides, no matter how badly they drive.

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Most of coastal West Africa follows this trend of “Jesus Insurance”, but in Lagos it really comes to a climax. People are literally drunk on Jesus worship. No matter where you look, you see slogans like “Fear God”, “God So Good” or “His Goodness and Mercy Shall Follow Me”.
On every block, there’s at least two churches. No bars, no restaurants, no cafés; only churches.

One man, thinking he was like Daniel in the bible, went into a lion cage believing that the lions wouldn’t eat him because he was a man of God, was instantly devoured by the beasts. What a surprise!

But, despite their intense devotion to God, somehow their faith doesn’t seem to deter any of the crooks from stealing, the police from extracting bribes, or the men to cheat on their wives. I guess they really think it’s an insurance policy.

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