Ancient Benin Kingdom & Edo State
Where Modernity And Tradition Meets In perfect Harmony
(Benin City Nigeria Local Time)
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Benin kingdom/Edo state Religions

Edo state inhabitants’ enjoy freedom of religious worship. Inside and outside Observers give credit to the state ,as one of the most peaceful place in Nigeria. The state has escaped the ethnic and religious bloodbath that has engulf and destroy tens of thousands of lives in the country. Edo state is also credited as a Place were religions and states are totally separated.

There are three types of religion. Christianity, Islam, and Traditional religion.

Traditional religion is rooted in an indigenous belief system based on a Supreme being supported by deities and natural forces, which act as intermediaries between the divine, and humanity.

The Portuguese brought Christianity to the Benin Empire in the 15th century and during this period,Missionaries were sent from Portugal to establish churches in the kingdom. The remnants of which are Aruosa N'Akpakpava, Aruosa N'Idunwuerie and Aruosa N' Ogbelaka all in Benin City. Subsequent Obas and their chiefs were made Catholic priests and were encouraged to dress like one and to spread Christianity throughout the Benin Empire . To this day the Benin monarch, his Chiefs, Enogies and other traditional title holders still dress like a catholic priest. Alongside with other varieties of Benin royal dresses. The garment now represents royalty and one of code of dressing of the Benins people.

Pope Innocent XII sent father Angelus with a special letter to {25th} Oba Oreoghene {1689AD-1700AD} encouraging him and his subjects to continue to keep to the Christian faith.

{16th} Oba Esigie 1504AD-1578AD sent the priest of Olokun shine at Ughoton to Portugal to understudy Christianity and report to the kingdom . But Benin Empire inhabitants' still continue with their traditional religion not until the tail end of the 20th century that Christianity really take roots, due to indigenous Pentecostal churches. In a resent survey carried out a vast majority of the Edos Considers themselves practicing Pentecostal Christians why a very few says they practices the traditional religion.

Christian groups comprise the Anglican {Church of England}, Roman Catholic, Baptist, Methodist, Jehovah’s Witness, God’s kingdom society, Apostolic and Pentecostal churches. In Benin City, there is the Holy Aruosa, a traditional place of worship headed by the Oba of Benin.

The Pentecostal Churches popularly called the ‘Born again Churches’ have made remarkable progress in recent years. Spear headed by the renowned flamboyant, well-traveled TV minister. Late Arch. B.A. Idahosa through his popular high profile American styles TV Christian ministry and crusades. Spread Pentecostal Christianity from his base in Benin City to other part of Nigeria, Africa and beyond. Although he is dead now his legacy lives on .Historians will have it to say; That the history of Christian evangelism of the 20th century in continental Africa will not completed without the mention of Arch. Idahosa. All year round Christian and non-Christian alike visit his tomb along Airport road Benin City very close to the City Airport. To pay respects to the Christian Pentecostal Icon.

To this day, it is unusual to pass a street in Benin City without coming across one or two Pentecostal churches they can easily be found in remote villages too.

Islam was introduced towards the end of the 19th century by Nupe warriors who carried out their campaigns in some part of north of Edo State when the land was still under the jurisdiction of Benin Empire Monarchial Authority .The Benin royal forces were able prevent them from spreading it into the main Benin kingdom. Hence, Islam has a large following only in those parts. To this day, it is hard to see a Benins person who is a Moslem though many Moslems live in Benin City and other part of Benin kingdom.

There are four sects of Islam; Ansar-U-Deen, Nawa-u-Deen, Ahmadiyya and Orthodox.