It is a land rich in natural resources with tremendous potential, and currently has one of the world’s highest economic growth rates. Despite this, poverty in Nigeria remains significant – over a third of the population struggle to make ends meet. Ordinary people are suffering each day.
Through the work of early European missionaries, many parts of Nigeria responded to the Christian message. The church in Nigeria has grown quickly and rapidly – over half the population is estimated to be Christian. Nigeria’s prayer movement is one of the world’s strongest. Some of the largest prayer meetings in history have been in Nigeria (an estimated 3 million in Lagos).
But the need to train church leaders, provide medical and pastoral care, and minister to people with HIV/AIDS, orphaned children and vulnerable women, remains a huge challenge.
On top of that, wide cultural differences between predominantly Muslim and Christian areas of Nigeria have created tensions which have escalated into violence on both sides. In some states Christians face intense persecution. Recent attacks by the radical Islamic group Boko Haram targeting Christian churches, have killed hundreds, with Christians retaliating in response.
Nigeria is the focus of much of Mission Africa’s work today – first pioneered in 1887. Our missionaries provide direct medical care for the sick and needy in rural clinics, and help run an HIV clinic and community centre – a powerful witness to the love of Christ.
The most strategic work that Mission Africa is engaged in is that of theological education. In providing missionary lecturers for theological colleges in Nigeria, we facilitate and enable the training of a new generation of leaders for some of the fastest growing churches in the world.
We work to alleviate the suffering of street children and orphans in Nigeria, and also run an outreach to prostitutes and vulnerable women. Our missionaries are involved in a ground–breaking peace and reconciliation programme in the inner city, and we organise a project to help over 200 village children with nutrition, school fees and spiritual support.
The ministry of African Christian Textbooks continues to thrive, providing quality Christian academic books for church leaders and Bible students in Nigeria, and publishing books written by African authors.
Through evangelism Mission Africa focuses on reaching the largely unengaged nomadic Fulani in Nigeria. Increasing numbers of Fulani are coming to faith, including some high and middle ranking tribal chiefs, who are openly following Christ and urging others to embrace Christianity.