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LESSON OBJECTIVE: By the end of the lesson, the learners should be able to:

1. Define religion;
2. List and explain the various types of religious institutions;
3. State the benefits of religious institutions;
4. Mention the names we call God in different communities in Nigeria.

Religion is the belief in the worship of God. It can also be defined as is the belief in the existence of a supreme being called God who created the entire universe including plants, animals and human beings.

Types of Religions Institutions
1. Christianity: Christianity is a religion that teaches about Jesus Christ. His followers are called Christians and they believe he is the son of God who came to the world to serve mankind. Christians make use of the Holy book called Bible. Their main day of worship is Sunday.
2. Islam: Islam is the religion revealed through Prophet Mohammed in the Arabian city of Mecca. Muslims believe that Mohammed is the last of the Prophet and messenger of God. The teachings of Islam are contained in the Qur’an which is the Holy book of the Muslims. The Muslims main day of worship is Friday.

The Five Pillars of Islam
Muslims believe that there is only one God and Mohammed is the messenger.
Praying five times a day.
Giving alms to the poor.
Fasting during the month of Ramadan.
Pilgrimage to Mecca at least once in a lifetime

3. African Traditional Religion (ATR)
African traditional religion refers to the original traditional beliefs and practices of the various people of Africa. African traditional religion forbids all evil practices including theft, murder, adultery, all forms of wickedness, deceit and cheating.


The Yorubas call God Olodumare or Olorun.
The Igbos call God Chineke or Chukwu.
The Edo people call God Osanobwa. The Hausa/Fulani call God Allah or Ubangidi.
The Efik people call God Abasi or Edidem.

The Benefits and Functions of Religious Institutions
Religious institutions promote love, peace and friendship.
They teach respect for God and for man.
They provide rules and regulations which help to control the behaviour of their members.
Religious institutions teach their members to shun all forms of evils and criminal activities.
Religious institutions teach their members to believe that God can help them in times of trouble.
Religious institutions provide explanations to some of the mysteries of life.

Similarities in the Lessons our Religion Teaches us.
All religious institutions forbid lying, stealing, adultery and murder.
They encourage their members to live holy life while on earth so that they will return to God in heaven after death.
All religious institutions in the world require their members to submit totally to the will of God.
Religious institutions especially Islam and Christianity teach that God is righteous and merciful.

Done studying? See previous Lessons from social studies Take a quick test for this lesson.
1. Define religion.
2. List and explain the various types of religious institutions.
3. What are the benefits of religious institutions?
4. Mention the names we call God in different communities in Nigeria.

5. Explain the following.

ii. Islam

i. Christianity

ii. African Traditional Religion.

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