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Religion

Nnewi, Ichi and Oraifite made up the Anaedo Empire. Anaedo communities have common ancestries, beliefs and traditional value systems. Christianity was introduced by the Europeans in 1885 and many Nnewi people now practice Christianity.

Due to this reason, religion has occupied a central place in the heart of Nnewi people. This counts for the huge churches and religious practices in the city. The people of Nnewi are 96% Christian, with small fractions of other faiths: 2% traditionalist, 0.2% Jews, 0.3% Muslims and 1.5% others. Among the Christian community, the catholic and Anglican Communion shares a greater number of followers followed by other Pentecostal Christian groups.

Christianity first came on the Southeastern part of Nigeria with the arrival of the Holy Ghost missionaries from Gabon to Onitsha under the leadership of Fr. Joseph Lutz late on Saturday, December 5, 1885. Fr. Joseph Shanahan (The Apostle of Igboland) joined them in 1902 and when the mantle of leadership fell on him in 1905, history was set to record the evangelization of Roman Catholic Diocese of Nnewi. The stream of this evangelization was to flow through two main courses almost concurrently: one having Nnewi as its source and the other Ozubulu/Ihiala.

Though individuals from various communities have come in contact with the faith as they travelled to Onitsha and other places for trade and in quest of western education, the actual planting of the seed of the gospel in Nnewi Diocese from the Catholic perspective sprang from the treks of Fr. Victor Duhaze to Ozubulu through Oguta (1906) and to Nnewi through Umuoji, Ojoto Mili Agu down to Odida Nnewichi in 1906.

However, the Anglican Church was established in Nnewi from Obosi in 1893. But the seed of what is today Nnewi Diocese was sown in 1809. Requests were made by Odida. The community in Nnewichi inviting Fr. J. Shanahan. In the same year, some Ozubulu indigenes had registered the same requests for establishing a Church station at Ozubulu. Nnewi people are proud of there traditional Odinani as well as the new religion of Christianity. @(Note:The Church Missionary Society CMS under the leadership of Bishop Samuel Ajayi Crowther and Reverend Henry Townsend arrived Onitsha on July 27, 1857)

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