The religious landscape of Nigeria offers a grim paradox. The Joshua Project research initiative classifies this most populous nation of Africa as significantly reached by the Gospel. But most believers live in the southern half of the country, while the northern half has been called the deadliest place in the world for Christians. In fact, reports indicate that Nigeria accounts for over 80% of martyred Christians globally.
Joshua,* who is head of TWR’s national partner in Nigeria and not part of the research initiative, pointed out that believers aren’t the only ones to suffer at the hands of militants and nomadic herdsmen belonging to a different religion.
“There are certain fanatics who do not want the Gospel associated with their language at all,” Joshua said. “They not only attack our translators and producers, but they also attack their own people who listen to the messages. They sometimes trace the radio stations and threaten to burn them down if they continue [broadcasting Christian programmes]. For the translations, we often use people who live away from the reach of these fanatics to avoid attacks on them.”
Gospel programmes are broadcast in Nigeria in the languages of Hausa, Fulfulde, Igbo, Yoruba, Kanuri, Pidgin English and African English.
Fulani Market Photo imb.org
They originate from the Oasis AM transmitter at TWR’s West Africa Transmitting Station in another country as well as from in-country FM stations. And they’re having an impact, as the following listener message shared by Joshua shows.
“TWR has changed the lives of so many members of churches and many Christians here in the north. I know two people in this [northern city] who were Muslims, but through these programmes and the Hausa Bibles TWR shared with us, they started reading the Bible and today have given their lives to Jesus and become Christians.”
TWR Nigeria also distributes donated radios to different parts of the country so people with few resources can tune into the programmes and share them with neighbours. Discipleship is also a major thrust of the ministry, including the north. Every Man A Warrior materials used to train men are producing “awesome results,” Joshua said.
Prayers are needed for more resources, he said, to be able to equip volunteers ready to distribute content, disciple new believers and respond to listener feedback. But the biggest need?
“We need prayers that the eyes of those who would block others from accessing the truth would be opened to see the light and embrace truth rather than oppose it,” he added.
*Surname withheld as a security precaution.
*Although radios are distributed in many parts of Nigeria, more go to the north, where attending church can be dangerous.