Church Commercialization in Nigeria: Implications for Public Relations Practice

Princewell, Achor Nwanganga


Church commercialization is phenomenon in the Nigerian Christendom. It has made the institution called church to deviate from its original tenets: sacredness, purity, holiness and promotion of truth, but rooted itself in the pursuit of materialism and mundane pleasures. Based on this premise, this study x-rayed various aspects of church commercialization, its causes and their implications for public relations practice. Survey research method was used to assess this situation and empirical results were found. From the results, this paper posits that church commercialization is a violation of both church and public relations ethics. It runs counter to church’s tenets of sacredness, holiness and purity and cannot be promoted through public relations practice. The paper also posits that church commercialization is an aberration and dints the image/reputation of the institution of the church. To stem the tide of church commercialization in Nigeria will be a herculean task for public relations practitioners as far as poverty level among Nigeria is high. Finally, it posits that church commercialization runs counter to the philosophy and promotion of truth telling, sincerity, honesty, and two-way symmetric model of communications and excellence in public relations practice.PR practitioners who promote churches or gospel preachers that indulge in the act of church commercialization violate the ethical code or code of conduct of public relations profession. The paper concludes that the era of falsehood and pernicious propaganda has gone, so church leaders; church workers and indeed public relations practitioners should embrace the practice of two-way symmetric model of communications that are nurtured in truth, mutual understanding and transparency if they must win and sustain public confidence.

Recommendations were made based on the ethical and image/reputation issues discovered.

Keywords: Church, commercialization, public relations, aberration, falsehood

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