Christians holding 400-hour praise to mark Nigeria's 57th Independence Anniversary

Christians in Nigeria organized a 400-hour praise and worship event to mark the country's 57th Independence Anniversary and to thank God for giving them unity amidst the various factors that could potentially cause division.

(REUTERS / Stringer)President Muhammadu Buhari participates at the Program of 56th Independence Anniversary Presidential Change of Guards Parade in Abuja, Nigeria October 1, 2016.

The 400-hour praise and worship called "Halleluiah Nigeria" aimed to express gratitude to God in light of the country's exit from an economic recession. Organizers of the event said President Muhammadu Buhari and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo will be among the government officials who will be present on the final day of the program on Oct. 1, Vanguard detailed.

"Just a few days ago, we received with cheerful hearts the good news that we are now officially out of recession. As if putting icing on the cake, the news came after the whole nation joyfully received the return of our dearest President," the event's coordinator Joseph Oluseyi Malomo told journalists. "It is only logical for us to gather and return ‎our thanks and praise to this God who responds and answers the heartfelt prayers of all Nigerians."

In addition, Malomo described the 400-hour praise event as "record breaking." He said Christians want to give thanks to God for showing them that Nigeria is close to His heart.

More than 140 Christian church choirs are participating in "Halleluiah Nigeria." The activities for the event began on Sept. 14, and the finale on Oct. 1 will be held at the National Christian Centre in Abuja.

Meanwhile, at least 150,000 participants are expected to attend the 2017 Nigerian Independence Day parade in the U.S.A. next month. The upcoming event, which has been held in New York since 1991, is touted as the largest African parade in the U.S., News Agency of Nigeria reported.

Olayinka Dansalami, the chair of the parade's organizing committee, said the African parade welcomes all races and nationalities. He said the event aims to highlight the culture not only of Nigerians but also that of people from other backgrounds and ethnicities.