Under God’s protective wings: Does exposure to violent conflict make Nigerians value God more?

HiCN WP 392

This study examines the effect of exposure to violent conflict on the importance that Nigerians attach to God in their lives. The regression results show that conflict exposure positively correlates with the importance attached to God. The analysis also shows that the more recent a conflict is, the larger is its effect on the importance attached to God. The positive correlation persisted when I broke down the data based on religious affiliation (Christians and Muslims) and gender (males and females) and estimated models using these subsamples of respondents. However, the size of the effect was larger among Christians than Muslims. The effect size was also larger among females than males. A plausible mechanism behind these results is that reliance upon God serves as a coping strategy to deal with the threats posed by violent conflict. These results are robust to different operationalizations of violent conflict.

JEL Classification: D74, N37, Z12

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