Extremist violence in northern Nigeria threatens the existence of rural communities.

Ed Weaver with Spoken Worldwide says it’s causing people to leave the countryside and pour into the cities. “I had a team that was travelling around Northern Nigeria in late March and early April. This is the first time in Nigeria when to travel on the roads out in the more rural areas, we actually had to have a security team.”

“That wasn’t so much alarming or surprising. It was just sobering.”
Religious violence
Nigerian Christians often suffer the brunt of the violence from groups like Boko Haram or the Islamic State West Africa Province.

Attacks also come from groups of Fulani herdsmen, Weaver explains. “They believe all cattle are given to them by God. So if you’ve got cattle, and you’re not Fulani, they can rightfully take it because it’s a God-given gift. They don’t even see that as stealing.”

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Weaver says many Muslims are horrified by the brutality. “I think there’s a recognition that there’s a future of violence ahead of them if they want to stay aligned with Islam. And there will be constant pressure to either join the violence or constant pressure to change their beliefs.”

Church planting

As a result, Nigerians are flocking to Christianity. Recently, Spoken Worldwide celebrated the planting of a church in a small village. All of the members are new Christians, and all of them are oral learners.

Weaver describes the scene. “It was amazing to see the faces, to hear the encouragement, and to see the gratefulness for learning God’s word. They learned how to disciple people, how to share faith, how to plant churches, and how to train others. I think they felt really equipped and prepared to do ministry.”

Ask God to build and strengthen the Nigerian Church. You can support oral Bible translation through Spoken Worldwide.


This story originally appeared at Mission Network News and is republished here with permission.