There are two major religions in Nigeria which are Christianity and Islam. The Nigerian Christian community is about the largest in Africa with more than 80 million believers. However, there are different churches and religious bodies in Nigeria so Nigerian Christians worship differently under various umbrellas though they all share the belief in God and Jesus Christ.
In terms of wealth, here are the top richest churches in Nigeria;
1. The Catholic Church
The Catholic community in Nigeria is just one part of the global Catholic Church which has the Pope as its leader. More than 25 million Nigerians are Catholics and there are thousands of Catholic parishes spread across the 36 states of Nigeria. It is a known fact that the Catholic Church is the church with the highest number of worshippers in Nigeria. It is also the richest church in Nigeria.
How much is the net worth of the Catholic Church in Nigeria?
It’ll be quite impossible to calculate the exact figure but the net worth of the Catholic Church in Nigeria is estimated to be around $150 billion. This can be tagged surprising, consisting of the fact that the Vatican City is worth about $16 billion. Well, the Vatican has a population of about 800 compared to millions in Nigeria.
Aside from offerings and tithes which the church members pay, a lot of Catholic Churches in Nigeria have schools and seminaries which students pay to attend – that’s one massive way the church gets the money. There are thousands of educational institutes set up by the Catholic Church – more than 5,000 of them.
2. The Anglican Church of Nigeria
The wealth of the Anglican Church of Nigeria is relative to its size. The Anglican Church of Nigeria stands as the second-largest Anglican community in the world coming after none other than the Church of England itself.
More than 18 million Nigerians are members of the Anglican Church of Nigeria. However, only about 2 million people are regular attendees. There are 14 provinces in the Anglican Church of Nigeria with 161 dioceses. What this implies is that there are thousands of Anglican Church parishes in Nigeria.
How much is the net worth of the Anglican Church of Nigeria?
The net worth of the Anglican Church of Nigeria is estimated at $5 billion. The exact net worth is not known but considering its member-size, it’s not difficult to estimate. Considering the fact that the Church of England is worth about $8 billion and they have more than 25 million members.
According to Bishop Odedeji of the Anglican Church, the tithes and offerings they receive are being used to develop the church rather than used on the pastors. He confirmed that most of the Anglican churches in Nigeria make their income via tithes members pay and that most of it are channeled towards evangelism.
3. Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG)
The Redeemed Christian Church of God (known mainly as just Redeemed) is one of the most popular Pentecostal churches in Nigeria. Pastor Enoch Adeboye is the general overseer while Josiah Akindayomi was the founder of the church back in 1981.
How much is the net worth of the Redeemed Christian Church of God?
According to Forbes, Pastor Enoch Adeboye has a net worth that ranges between $39 – $65 million. The revenue obtained from his church yearly is about $2 million so the net worth of the Redeemed Christian Church of God is estimated at $2 million. This makes RCCG one of the richest churches in Nigeria.
With a 10 million-member count, much of the money generated by RCCG is linked to tithe and offerings. The church made provision for convenience as members can pay their tithes and offerings online from the comfort of their homes. Also, the church owns a private university in Nigeria – Redeemer’s University Nigeria – which is located in Osun state.
4. Living Faith Church Worldwide (Winners Chapel)
Winners Chapel is a renowned pentecostal church in Nigeria founded by Bishop David Oyedepo. The church is over 35 years old being founded in 1983 and has its headquarters at Ogun State. The church has branches scattered across Nigeria and also in more than 140 foreign countries.
How much is the net worth of Living Faith Church Worldwide (Winners Chapel)
It is worth noting that Bishop David Oyedepo is the richest pastor in Nigeria and in the world with a net worth higher than $150 million. The Living Faith Church Worldwide (Winners Chapel) has an estimated net worth of $20 million considering that most of Bishop David Oyedepo’s wealth is linked to it.
In addition to tithes and offerings, Winners Chapel runs two private universities in Nigeria, Landmark University and Covenant University. These universities are learning centers for thousands of Nigerians. The school fees for these universities range from N500,000 to N1 million. Winners Chapel also runs a secondary school – the Faith Academy – which is located in Lagos.
5. Christ Embassy
Founded in 1987 by Pastor Chris Oyakhilome, Chris Embassy is one of the richest churches in Nigeria. The church is also identified as Believers’ Loveworld or LoveWorld Incorporated and has more than 13 million members from countries globally.
How much is the net worth of Christ Embassy
The founder of Christ Embassy, Pastor Chris has a net worth of over $50 million. This puts him among the top richest Nigerian pastors. However, Chris Embassy church has an estimated net worth of $2.5 million. As of 2016 when the church went into liquidation, reports showed that the net asset was above $2 million.
Tithes, offerings, donations from members are the primary sources of income to the church. Other mediums by which the church generates money are not known though money for consultations and counseling are likely sources. Also, sometime in 2015 church members were required to pay gate fees; it could be a major source too.
There are so many other wealthy churches in Nigeria but the listed ones are considered the richest. Though the churches were not actually ranked in accordance with their wealth, the Catholic Church is the richest church in Nigeria without a debate. The net worth of these Nigerian churches is usually estimated because they are religious organizations and not financial ones. They are not entitled to give an account of their income to anybody.