Nigeria (MNN) — A Nigerian leader says the threat of COVID-19 pales in comparison to the violence of Muslims against Christians in the northern and central parts of the country. This was reported to the UK parliament shortly after COVID-19 reached Nigeria, and the violence has only worsened since then. The report finds thousands have been killed and hundreds of thousands have been displaced.
Ed Weaver of Spoken Worldwide says this persecution doesn’t just come from armies like ISIS. “The Muslim herdsmen believe that all cattle are theirs, that God gave them all the cattle on the planet. If you’ve got herds of cattle, and you’re not Fulani, then they have a God-given right to take those back. They’re saying, ‘No, this isn’t stealing. We’re just taking back what is rightfully ours, God-given.’”
As the Muslim herders attack, Weaver says many Christian farmers try to fight back. But the report shows this violence has escalated beyond reactions and provocations. Herdsmen have carried out pre-planned, coordinated assaults.
Spoken Worldwide has launched a translation of the Bible into oral Nigerian languages, using programs like Zoom to communicate despite the COVID-19 gathering and travel restrictions.
Weaver asks Christians to pray for this work. “We need protection for our teams, particularly as people begin a project and it becomes known in a region that they are dealing with the Word of God, that they are translating it into a mother tongue.”
“There will be opposition, and the opposition will come from those places that we’ve already mentioned, whether it’s Boko Haram, whether it’s the Fulani, whether it’s another tribal conflict. That will ratchet up, we know it will.”
Spoken Worldwide is dedicated to bringing the Gospel to oral cultures and those who can’t read. They work with local Christian leaders around the world, supporting them and equipping them through training. Support Spoken Worldwide’s work here.
The header image shows a Nigerian farmer. (Photo courtesy of Spoken Worldwide on Facebook)