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Church Dues: Categories of Fees Christain Worshipers Pay in Nigeria.

Chinyere believes in excellency, for her anything worth doing is worth doing well.


Payment of head tax is an ancient conception that started in the Middle Est. Today, much Christian domination in Nigeria had adopted the payment of tax or due to supplement the growth and development of the church. During the time of the Messiah, there were tax collectors. Among the twelve, there was also one tax collector. Jesus in Matthew 17:24-27 paid his tax even though, it didn't seem right that he should pay.

“When Jesus and his disciples came to Capernaum, the collectors of the temple tax came to Peter and asked, does your teacher pay tax? Of course, Peter answered. When Peter went into the house, Jesus spoke up first, Simon, what is your opinion? Who pays duties or taxes to the kings of the world? The citizens of the country or the foreigners? The foreigners answered Peter, well then replied Jesus, that means that the citizens don't have to pay. But we don't want to offend these people, so go to the lake and drop in a line. Pull up the first fish you hook, and in its mouth you will find a coin worth enough for my temple tax and yours, take it and pay them our taxes.”

Christians believe that whatever you give in the house of God is a gift to the Lord. Therefore, a gift with the heart is cheerful giving. But the question here is, do church dues depict a gift to the Lord or man? Should a church tax be pay as you earn? In Nigeria, payment of church tax is becoming a burden on many Christian worshipers. There is no exception in terms of tax payment once you're a member of the worship community. You're liable to pay.

No one cares whether you have money or not. Their belief is if you didn't pay alive, you will pay in death. People of low-income earners are not finding it easy to associate fully with church activities. Some staunch believers in the Lord will starve to pay. What hurts most is after making the payments, like paying tax to build a church school, your children will still not be given admission to the school you starve to build.

It's even worse to the decease because the relatives will either pay through their nose for their loved one to be buried or the decease remains unburied without any funeral right. There are many unburied corpses lying in the mortuary due to unpaid taxes. It's a punishment to the dead for not paying up during his lifetime.

There's nothing bad with the payment of tax, but how the church leaders implement it affects 60% of Christian worshipers in Nigeria. Read on, let me elaborate on the categories of tax church members pay in these difficult times.

Pastor / Rev Feeding

Practically, 70% of churches in Nigeria tax their members for pastors feeding. Some pay monthly. While some pay annually. This fee ranges from #1000 for men and #500 for women. You have no reason for not complying. Otherwise, they will remind you of death, that people are dying every day should anything happen to you, you won get a church funeral. Whether you are hungry or not, feed the pastor first!

Church Building Project

This fee is invariably generational. It's indefinite. After you, your children will grow up and continue where you stopped. Church owners erect church structures every year. It goes on one after, another one will follow. Sometimes, they will destroy a building and construct another modern style. There are some structures in an isolated area. In a church compound, I counted about seven locked with empty sections. You hardly see a parish without a building project.


Bishop Car Purchase

Yeah! Church members pay a levy to purchase trending cars for their bishop or pastor. Even contribute an amount for bishop's private jet. They will tell you that God loves a cheerful giver, that you should do something big for the Lord, hm mmm! Here you will see street hawkers, Barlow pushers, market women, and men struggling to fulfill being a cheerful giver. Very thoughtful of them. After people had struggled to pay for the bishop's car, their children's school fees are awaiting unpaid, and the pastor or bishop does not care. The pastor will even expel their children for non-compliance.

Women / Men Group Annual Fee

Every man or woman pays a monthly fee. This money is for the church's development and the well-being of the members. In most cases, you will see sick members with chronic ailments that need financial support. His church group will not help him, despite his yearly dues. Eventually, he dies, the pastor will check his unpaid dues, give the bill to the family to pay up . Otherwise, the church will not bury him. I don't know if it's biblical that a church leader must bury his members. That is their formula to keep extorting money from the members.

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Pastor Ordination

New pastors' ordination comes up any time. Every, adult in the church is liable to pay a specific amount whenever there is an ordination of a new pastor. Much the candidate, the higher the amount.


Pastor & his Wife Birthday

In some, churches it has become an annual due without rescheduling. Pastor's birthday is an obligation that members should not ignore. At least, they give both of them gift items or cash equivalent.

School Building Fee

Here is another substantial project for the churches in Nigeria. Every church is venturing into school business to diversify its income. Moreover, the church members are the one who contributes money to build the school structures and provide the facilities necessary for use. The bishop will give out the cost it will be shared to the zones, to the branches then to each member of the church.

Harvest / Bazaar levy

Parishioners pay a harvest & bazaar levy to support the annual church thanksgiving occasion. They also contribute their token to show reverence to God as they celebrate the thanksgiving event. Once each person gets a token to pay, It's recorded in the finance book. Anyone who didn't pay will definitively pay it some day.

Bishop Visit

Here is another substantial project for the churches in Nigeria. Every church is venturing into school business to diversify its income. Moreover, the church members are the one who contributes money to build the school structures and provide the facilities necessary for use. The bishop will give out the cost it will be shared to the zones, to the branches then to each member of the church.

Zonal Levy / Meetings

Any meeting of the zone goes with money contribution to pay for transport and feeding of the representatives. This levy is vital. If you didn't pay, it shows you don't want the church to grow. In certain situations, they will share a particular amount title zonal fee to all those in the zones. This fee may not have any logical reason, just a zonal Levy.


Let us see what the bible said, in Leviticus chapter 27 verses 1-8, about gifts to the Lord.

Then the Lord said to Moses, say to the sons of Israel when a man makes a special promise, you will decide upon the worth of this person for the Lord. The price you put on a man from twenty to sixty years old will be fifty pieces of silver, by the weight of the holy place. For a woman, it will be thirty pieces of silver.

For a male five to twenty years old it will be twenty pieces of silver. A woman, it will be ten pieces of silver. Your price for a child from one month to five years old will be five pieces of silver for the boy, and three pieces of silver for the girl.

Your price for a person sixty years old and older will be fifteen pieces of silver for the man, and ten pieces of silver for the woman.

But if the person is too poor to pay your price, he will be brought to the religious leader. The religious leader will decide the worth of the person by how much he who made the promise is able to pay.

In the above verse, God considered the poor, but the present-day religious leaders extort from the poor to fill their pockets, probably they are the ones to bury them. It is necessary to check the worth of a person before giving him tax to pay. Excessive church tax has sent many young Christians to pagan worship. Youth between ages 25-45 are now communing with the traditionalist to save them from the embarrassment of church tax.

This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.

© 2021 Chinyere Okoye

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