The role of the church in building peace and harmony in the society pdf

The role of the church in building peace and harmony in the society pdf
The role of the church in building peace and harmony in the society pdf




This study examined the role of the church in building peace and harmony in the society. Research questions and research hypotheses were formulated to guide the study. Relevant and related literature was reviewed. The research design adopted in the study was a blue print which specifies how data would be collected to analysis a given identified problem. The population of the study consists of all the members of the church use as the case study. A simple random sampling technique will be used to select 28 respondents from the population. The instrument used for data collection was a questionnaire; the questionnaire was used to gather the data. The questionnaire was a four-point rating scale (Likert scale), starting from strongly agreed (SA), agreed (A), disagreed (d), and strongly disagreed (SD).

The instrument was face validated by three experts in the field of measurement and evaluation and research. A mean score rating method was used to analyses the data based on the 2.5 acceptance region format to answer the research question, while to address the research hypothesis, the chi-square was used.  Findings from the study indicate that churches have been at the forefront in fostering peace using various methods, particularly submission and confession, mediation, dialogue, peace workshops and peace visits.




Numerous individuals and corporate bodies are involved in peace making. However the most fundamental way in which the Catholic Church promotes peace and conflict resolution is by preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ. This is a Gospel of love for others, of humility, of justice, of reconciliation and of service (Arinze, 2003: 110). In particular, over the past half century the Church has evolved into a religious institution at the forefront of the struggle to promote peace and justice based on the dignity of the human person (Fetzko, 2006).


The Christian tradition has made significant contributions to world peace at a number of different levels (Albert, 2011). Among these are public statements by Church leaders, programs of action at local and international levels, organisations dedicated to bringing about peace, courses of study, commemorative days etc. In recent decades, Church leaders have frequently made statements in support of peace. In some cases these statements have been specific appeals for peace in particular circumstances, however, on other occasions they have also published more comprehensive statements on the need for peace and the means of achieving it. The teachings of Christianity which is guided by the dictates of the bible (word of God) has constantly encourage the members to ensure peace and harmony in the society.

Christian leaders have always publicly stood for societal peace and harmony and against violence. It is now widely accepted that violent conflict is the major hindrance to the development of the African continent and Nigeria in particular. It inflicts human sufferings through death, destruction of livelihoods, constant displacement and insecurity (Barash, 2000). Violent conflict disrupts the process of production, creates conditions for pillage of the country’s resources and diverts their application from development purposes to servicing war. Violent conflict is thus responsible for perpetuating misery and underdevelopment in the country-Nigeria and the continent at large (Adetula, 2006).

Peace is a universal phenomenon that everyone desires and wishes to enjoy endlessly. Traditions, cultures, religions and societies do have different prescriptions to attaining and enjoying peace. Whenever and wherever there is peace there tends to be development and longevity is enjoyed (Salawu, 2010). To this end, Christianity which is one of the predominant religions in the world today teaches peace and encourages all adherents to the faiths to pursue peace and live peacefully with one another.

The above statement now seems to be questionable with the rise of intra, inter and ethno-religious conflicts in the world. While most Arab and some European countries are faced with intra-religious conflicts, an African country like Nigeria is faced with both intra and inter-religious conflicts. Nigeria, which is popularly known as Africa’s most populous black nation with a population of now about 170 million people, with more than 250 ethnic groups has Christianity and Islam as its predominant religions, though there is still in existence the African Traditional Religion (ATR).

Christianity as a word means followers of Christ or Christ like. Christians therefore are those who follow and act the teaching of Christ in all ways of life. One of the climaxes of Christianity or Christian virtue is peace. Christians are enjoined in the Bible to embrace and live peacefully with their neighbors’. The following scriptures confirm this: Depart from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it (Psalm 34 vs 14). Blessed are the Peace makers for they shall be called the children of God Matthew 5 vs 9). Let him eschew evil and do good; let him seek peace and ensue it (1 Peter 3 vs 11). Follow peace with all men and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord (Hebrews 12 vs 14). If it be possible, as much as it lieth in you, live peaceably with all men (Rom 12 vs 18)

The word Peace in Christianity is translated from the Hebrew word ‘Shalom’, which is a key word in the Bible and its at the center of how God wants us to live on earth. One of the key things Jesus came to give humanity is Peace and expects us to live in peace as cited in the scriptural verses above. Peace was not only what Jesus taught but He also lived it, this in most cases is what scholars call pacifism, as Jesus never taught violence, even at his arrest by the Pharisees and one of his disciples struck the ears of the priest, Jesus rebuked the disciple and said that “those who live by the sword shall die by the sword” (Mathew 26:52, NKJV).

In another place Jesus taught the people not to retaliate any evil done to them as it used to be, an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, if one should strike you on the right cheek, turn the left cheek (Mathew 5:38-39, NKJV) but now to always forgive those that offend them and he charged them to forgive their neighbors even seventy times seven (Matthew 18:22, KJV). With all these scriptural teachings of the church, Christians are supposed to live in peace and harmony in the society.


The church has always taught the members on the act of non retaliation as taught by Jesus which helps to absorb violence instead of escalating it, hence every cycle of violence provoking revenge, which in turn provokes more violence is broken by the simple act of tolerating the violence and avoiding retaliation. On the contrary, there has been increased cases of disruption to peace and harmony in the world today despite the church teachings of peace as stipulated by Jesus Christ. However, the researcher is examining the role of church in ensuring peace and harmony in the society.


The main objective of this study was to examine the role of the church in ensuring peace and harmony in the society, using AME Zion Church Port Harcourt as the case study. Specifically the study sought to:

  1. examine the role of church in ensuring peace and harmony in the society.
  2. examine the dictates of the church as regards peace and harmony.
  3. identify the factors disrupting peace and harmony of the society.


  1. What is the role of church in ensuring peace and harmony in the society?
  2. What are the dictates of the church as regards peace and harmony?
  3. What are the factors disrupting peace and harmony of the society?


H1: The church plays significant role in ensuring peace and harmony in the society.



The following are the significance of this study:

  1. The findings of this study will be useful for the government, church leaders and the general public on the role of the church in ensuring sustainable peace and harmony in the society.
  2. This research will also serve as a resource base to other scholars and researchers interested in carrying out further research in this field subsequently, if applied will go to an extent to provide new explanation to the topic.


This study is delimited in scope to AME Zion Church Port Harcourt. The study will cover the position of the church and Christianity in general as regards the issue of societal peace and harmony.

  1. Financial constraint– Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire and interview).
  2. Time constraint– The researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. This consequently will cut down on the time devoted for the research work.
About Peter Lawson 2732 Articles
Peter Hezekiah Lawson (Sir Pee). The CEO of A reputable researcher, Web Developer, ICT Instructor and a publisher of many research works in Education.