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The mega churches of Lagos: huge hangars hold hundreds of thousands – in pictures

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Here is a kaleidoscope of worship in the Pentecostal ‘Mega’ churches which increasingly play a prominent role in the lives of the members, in Nigeria.
The Guardian reports the electric atmosphere during these church services and the tremendous size of these crowds:
‘congregations sometimes reaching 200,000, Nigeria’s Pentecostal churches use vast hangar-like structures to cram in worshipers.’

In his project ‘God is Alive’
, Andrew Esiebo takes the reader on a journey, observing worship in some churches, via a photo-documentary

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All photo: Andrew Esiebo/Guardian
Worshipers gather during a prayer service in the 1km sq auditorium of the Redeemed Christian Church of God. Founded in Nigeria in 1952, it’s one of the fastest growing Pentecostal churches in the world.


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All photo: Andrew Esiebo/Guardian
A man shouts as he worships during the annual ‘Holy Ghost Crusade’ organized by a German evangelist in Nigeria

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All photo: Andrew Esiebo/Guardian
As congregations are so large, mass is often held in a series of buildings, some resembling hangars, and are markedly different to the cathedrals built by traditional Christians.

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All photo: Andrew Esiebo/Guardian
Pentecostalism traces its contemporary roots to early 20th-century America. It places special emphasis on the direct experience of God

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All photo: Andrew Esiebo/Guardian
Point of sale machines are used for collections during a service

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All photo: Andrew Esiebo/Guardian
A woman falls on the floor after a spiritual experience

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All photo: Andrew Esiebo/Guardian
During the monthly prayer service of Mountain of Fire and Miracle Ministries, pastors kneel down to seek forgiveness and prayers from their leader after they controversially left the church

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All photo: Andrew Esiebo/Guardian
The wife of the leader of the Mountain of Fire and Miracle Ministries leads the Sunday service in Lagos. She is shown on screens across the auditorium

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All photo: Andrew Esiebo/Guardian

Worshipers trade gospel leaflets made to look like dollar bills
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All photo: Andrew Esiebo/Guardian
A man yells in response to the words delivered by the leader of the Redeemed Christian Church of God

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All photo: Andrew Esiebo/Guardian
The leader of the Redeemed Christian Church of God instructs members to raise their hands in the direction of the altar to connect to God

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All photo: Andrew Esiebo/Guardian
Worshipers congregate at the mega church

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Members of the congregation pray during a service

All photos: Andrew Esiebo/Guardian

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