1.1 Background of the Study
Religion and politics are two different institutions that exist in the state and contribute their quota in different capacities to better the lives of citizens of the state and the sustenance of humanity. Nevertheless, there have been the continuous romance between religion and politics, to the dismay of many especially who thinks it should not be so. This commonality between the two concepts are unavoidable since participants in electoral or political activities are in themselves religious, particularly in Nigeria. Even in religious institutions, politics is in itself a necessity, for want of organization and responsible leadership.
Doubtlessly, there are varieties of religion in Nigeria, but the the interest of this research is focused on the Christian Religion and its response to political affairs in the country. This research is set to unravel two apparent realities confronting Christianity and politics in Nigeria. First, that Christian denominations through literal interpretations of some biblical passages seek to exclude Christians from political participation, secondly, the fact of political misconducts, malpractices, and faulty democratic leadership in a process many Christians are involved in, considering the moral Christian ideals.
The ideals of Christianity are good guides to better political conducts, but the practice of such ideals are usually influenced by the socio-cultural institutions in the society, including politics.1 this suggests that Christians have the moral norms needed to better a society, but if Christians do not participate in a policymaking, where politics is a mechanism needed to exercise that, then, these qualities are as good as nothing. Therefore, Christians from every walks of life should heighten their political participation with the view of ameliorating the political system in Nigeria from every corruption.
Again, many Nigerians have resorted to tag politics as a ‘dirty game’, owing to the misconducts prevailing in the political system. This is due to assumptions that people have lost confidence in the the political class and on the electoral processes in the country, where votes cast by electorates are presumed not to count, where there is so much of political thuggery and ballot theft. Worst of all, these anomalies prevail amidst Christian presence in the process, the same people who are supposedly taught the ethics needed to build a morally viable world. In view of the above, this work seeks to restate those Christian ethical principles that are poised to better the society, as well as encourage Christians to participate in the electoral processes, party politics and other politically-related activities, so that they could use their moral consciousness to improve and sanitize the political system and ensure sustainable democracy in Nigeria.