• Pray for the dismantling of widespread corruption which cripples all levels of society – especially the government and including the church.
• Pray for an emphasis on discipleship and balanced Bible teaching in the Nigerian church, which continues to experience massive growth but whose teaching is often syncretistic and prosperity – based.
• Pray for increasingly persecuted Christians in Islamicized northern states to be characterized by supernatural love and forgiveness.
As Africa’s most populous country, Nigeria represents 2.4% of the global population. Their rich diversity is beautifully represented in 544 people groups. Mangroves and tropical forests in the south, savanna and grasslands in the north, and wetlands along the coast parallel this diversity. Striking differences also exist between the majority Muslim and feudal north and the largely Christian and more developed south. Deep ethnic and religious divisions threaten the nation as a whole.
Constant tensions exist between tribal rivalries - particularly in the north and central states where Muslims and Christians coexist. Since 1999, twelve northern states have partially or fully imposed shari’a law, causing many human rights abuses. In addition, Boko Haram launched an insurgency in 2009, attempting to create an Islamic State. They killed, looted, attacked schools, abducted women and children, and conscripted men and boys into their army. Years of devastating violence left roughly 20,000 dead and displaced millions. Though Boko Haram has lost control of much territory, they remain a grave threat. Militias, a self-serving elite, and political and religious corruption continue to hold the nation back. In addition, nomadic Fulani herdsmen are a rising violent threat, brutally killing many farmers and competing for their land. Though Nigeria is one of the world’s largest oil producers, half the population remains in poverty, with 30% lacking clean water. HIV/AIDS has also left an estimated two million orphans.
Nigeria is home to a large majority of West Africa’s Evangelicals (about 95 million claim Christianity) and Africa’s largest church, seating 50,000 people. The Nigerian Church has sent over 5,000 Christian missionaries throughout the country and overseas. But the nation is largely divided between the predominantly Muslim north and Christian south. Although 51% claim Christianity, believers in the north have suffered decades of persecution, including the destruction of thousands of churches. Even so, Muslims (45% of the population) are being drawn to Jesus, and the Church has experienced substantial growth. Yet, lack of discipleship, second-generation nominalism, syncretism, tribal and denominational divisions, materialism, and immorality all threaten the Body of Christ. The false teachings of the prosperity gospel are also rampant. About 18% of Nigeria’s people groups remain unreached - many of which are being rapidly Islamized.
Capital City: Abuja
Government: Federal Republic
Major People Groups: Hausa and Fulani 29%,
Yoruba 21%, Igbo18%, Ijaw 10%, Kanuri 4%, Ibibio 3.5%, Tiv 2.5%
Religion: Muslim 50%, Christian 40%,
indigenous beliefs 10%
Language: English, Hausa, Yoruba, Igbo, Fulani
GDP Per Capita: $5,900
Literacy Rate: 59.6%
If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it. - John 14:14