H.E. John Cardinal Onaiyekan

Archbishop of Abuja, Archdiocese of Abuja
Co-Moderator of Religions for Peace

H.E. John Cardinal Onaiyekan is the Archbishop of Abuja, Nigeria.

In Religions for Peace, Cardinal Onaiyekan serves as a Co-Moderator of the World Council; Executive Committee Member (since 2001) and Co-Chair of the African Council of Religious Leaders – RfP.

His Eminence Onaiyekan was elevated to Cardinal on 24 November 2012.

He was born on 29 January 1944 in Kabba, Nigeria. He received a licentiate in theology, a licentiate in Sacred Scriptures and a doctorate in theology from Pontifical Urbanian University. Cardinal Onaiyekan was ordained in 1969 at Sacred Heart Church in Kabba. He served in a variety of posts as a priest before he was ordained titular bishop of Tunusuda and auxiliary bishop of Ilorian on 6 January 1983. He was later appointed Bishop of Ilorin in 1984 and then Coadjutor Bishop of Abuja in 1990. Cardinal Onaiyekan became Bishop of Abuja on 28 September 1992 and Archbishop of Abuja on 26 March 1994.

Cardinal Onaiyekan has served as President of the Christian Association of Nigeria and President of the Catholics Bishops’ Conference of Nigeria. He has also served as President of the Symposium of Episcopal Conferences of Africa and Madagascar. He currently serves as a Member of the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith and as a Member of the Presidential Committee of the Pontificial Council for the Family. Cardinal Onaiyekan was named Paz Christi International’s 2012 Peace Laureate.