Term Paper: Nigeria -- Unreached People Spread

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¶ … Nigeria -- Unreached People

Spread of Christianity in Nigeria

Nigeria is one of the most populous countries in Africa. It consists of at least 400 diverse ethnic groups with their own customs and traditions, language, social values and belief system. In order to comprehend the conflict in Nigeria, one must study the demographics first. Nigeria is divided into two zones (Eleazu, 1985):

Northern savannah zone

Southern forest zone

Niger and Benue River separates the northern and southern state from between. This area is called as Middle Belt and is the center of Muslim/Christian fights (Eleazu, 1985).

The northern portion of Nigeria is segmented in three ethnic groups:

Kanuri: They are found around the area of Lake Chad in north eastern zone.

Hausa: It is the dominant group in Niger situated in the north, but west of Kanuri.

Fulani: Fulani is a dispersed group spread all across the Nigerian landscape.

Islam is the dominant religion here in all above tribes. Nigerian History and Culture was edited by Richard Olaniyan and written by Biodun Adediran, which mentions that these tribes have their own legends passed from generations to generations (Alemika, 2002).

Section 1: Group's background

The Kanuri tribe consists of Manga Kanuri and Yerwa Kanuri, apart from many unknown tribes. Kanuri tribe resides in the Borno province situated in northeastern Nigeria. They are the dominant group in this region. Apart from Nigeria, they are also present in Chad and Cameroon and certain areas near Lake Chad. The ancestors of Kanuri ruled this province long ago and this was their stronghold. West Sudan is also home to this tribe (The Joshua Project, 2012).

When the British Empire stepped in Nigeria, the Kanuri tribe lost its strong footing in 1914. They are still politically an active tribe and influence the local population for that matter. The Kanuri culture, language, customs and traditions have been taken in by many tribes (The Joshua Project, 2012).

Kanuri tribal men are dark and tall in appearance with a look of royalty. This shows their importance as rulers of the past centuries and their well-deserved place in Nigerian society. They have a massive influence on local population. The Kanuri tribal men also speak Arabic and Hausa apart from their regional language (The Joshua Project, 2012).

Lifestyle of Kanuri's

The Kanuri men are farmers mostly. They are engaged in other forms of labor in dry season. Millet is the stable crop for farmers here and it is supplemented by sorghum, peanuts and corn. Horses, goats and sheep are raised. Horses are the pride of the Kanuri tribe (The Joshua Project, 2012).

The Kanuri men living in city areas work in government capacities, public service capacity, commerce, transportation and construction. The Kanuri men who are involved in religion and politics are steeped in respect and have a high social status. The lowest of the lot are those who are butchers, well diggers, blacksmiths and laborers. Most of the Kanuri men are merchants, craftsmen and farmers (The Joshua Project, 2012).

The homes of the Kanuri tribe vary in shapes and sizes. Walled-in houses are commonly found. Cone shape roofs are seen, thatched roofs are seen and grass houses are also common. The houses are icy during summer. Farmlands are seen near every house (The Joshua Project, 2012).

The towns are local markets for Kanuri men. They also function as administrative centers for Kanuri men. They are home to mosque and schools. Schools are often attached with mosques (The Joshua Project, 2012).

Household is an imperative part of Kanuri society. The number of children in a family raises the social status of a man in Kanuri tribe. Young men are sent to work with houses in field as a loan. They can assist the family and give their support. The Kanuri man will thus in exchange, feed him, support him financially and find a bride for him, compensate equally for his work. The young man must live respectfully with his new bride. This sort of give-take is common in Kanuri tribe. It is just as similar to relationship of a father-son embedded in loyalty showered with respect (The Joshua Project, 2012).

The Kanuri children play among themselves just like normal children. Prior to puberty, kids are aware of their responsibility when they grow up (The Joshua Project, 2012).

The Kanuri men marry in their twenties. It's a ripe age. Polygamy is not uncommon and men have usually four wives at the most. Girls are married off in their teenage days. Men want their wife to be a virgin, but the price for a virgin girl in her teens is sky high. Thus, men resort to divorced woman. The rate of divorce in men is sky high as well. At least, eight marriages out of ten fail and result in divorce (The Joshua Project, 2012).

The dress of Kanuri is a huge robe sort of cloth which is worn along with turbans and designed caps. The robes protect them from severe summer heat. The attire isn't worn at work in the fields. It is worn in Islamic festivals and happy occasions (The Joshua Project, 2012).

Their belief system

Islam is the major religion in Nigeria. Kanuri men have been Muslims for as long as 11th century. Quran is read and its teachings are taught to children early on. Family values hold supreme. Fathers must be respected. Women are still held low in social status to men in Nigeria. Islam does equate women to men. So, Kanuri men have their ways of treating women (The Joshua Project, 2012).

Some old rituals are still followed in Kanuri tribe such as wearing amulets, necklaces and charms around necks. Strange things are kept in pockets for unknown reasons. Charms exist for a successful pregnancy. Ghost of yesteryears are kept away by charms and lockets (The Joshua Project, 2012).

The ardent need

Certain Kanuri tribes have a bible translation in their own languages. In five million Kanuri population, many believers exist particularly in Ngizim. But, more laborers and Christians are needed (The Joshua Project, 2012).

Geography

The country in focus is Nigeria. The continent is Africa. Region under consideration is central and west Africa. It has two provinces. The rank of persecution is 13. The locations are Jigawa, Yobe and Bauchi states. A political map is required from University of Texas (The Joshua Project, 2012).

The people are known as Manga and Kanuri. The general population consists of Kanura and Manga. The names for Manga are Manga Kanuri and Beriberi for Kanuri. The population in Nigeria is 321,000 (The Joshua Project, 2012).

Progress indicators

Evangelicals are teaching Christianity at 5% rate. According to GSEC status, there are two percent evangelicals. No church has been built in the past two years. Resources are available though (The Joshua Project, 2012).

Section two: Surveying the work of missionaries

A religious group sent in a new location to convert population into Christians is called a Christian missionary. They are sent for evangelism and do ministries work for instance social justice, literacy, education, economic development and health care. Mission is a word which dates back to 1598 when Christians sent its messengers to foreign lands. It is taken from Latin word missionem which means sending someone or to send someone. The word has allusions to biblical reference. Translating the bible into Latin, Jesus Christ sent its disciples to foreign lands with the message of Christianity. The Christian missionary is known to view cultures and witness them. In 1974, Lausanne Congress coined the term relating it to Christian mission. It was basically a church planting mission. Justice was to be served according to gospels. Now the Christian missionaries usually spread the form of western government in most cases, western culture, western education and abolish the local obsolete values. Christian missionaries are sent all across the world as Jesus Christ instructed to send its supporters in all races. The Christian missionaries are proud of their work and are inspired to spread the word of god. John Elliot was the first Protestant missionaries while Richard Bourne and John Cotton ministered the Algonquin natives who resided in Massachusetts Bay Colony in 17th century. Quaker did visit Boston and many other colonies where response remained low and ignored (Edmund, 1976).

Lutheran missionaries were sent by Danish government in the colonist regions. In the 17th century, BartholomaeuZiegenbalg was sent to India. In 1732, protestant community organized a mission work by Moravian Brethren from Saxon Germany in Hermhut (Edmund, 1976).

During a visit to Copenhagen in 1732 for coronation of Cousin King Christian VI, the patron of Moravian church, Nicolas Ludwig was acquainted to a slave who hailed from the West Indies. It was Danish colony at the time (Edmund, 1976).

After returning back to Herrnhut along with the slave, the villagers were inspired. Messengers were sent to slaves in West Indies. Missionaries entered West Indies through St. Thomas in 1732. Danish colony was being converted in a Christian dominated society. Then there were Moravian missionaries working in each… [END OF PREVIEW]

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