The Tide® (www.thetide.org) global radio ministry has had a presence in Nigeria for a decade, mainly in the southern part of this populous country where Christianity is more accepted.
But nationwide, declaring faith in Jesus Christ is becoming more and more difficult for Nigerians, as Christians are targeted for violence, annihilation and worse. The youngest Nigerian residents are feeling the terrible impact as well.
The Tide Director Don Shenk points to a new UNICEF report that found that just 57% of Nigerian children across 10 states and the Federal Capital Territory are enrolled in school—which means 8 million children are out of school. Parents and children alike are terrified of even short trips to school due to kidnappings that are commonplace in Nigeria.
In fact, 16-year-old Leah Sharibu has been in Boko Haram captivity since Feb. 19, 2018, when she was taken along with 109 of her female classmates. Five died in captivity and all others were released shortly thereafter, but Leah was kept as a “slave for life” because she refused to renounce her faith in Christ. High-ranking officials within the U.S. have been advocating for her release.
“These are very real tragedies in Nigeria,” Shenk said. “Here in the U.S., we can’t imagine being fearful to send our children to school that they might be kidnapped on theway. Nigerian Christians are facing hardships we will never know, but we pray the hope of Christ they hear through The Tide programming strengthens their spirits and prepares their hearts to spend eternity one day with Jesus, no matter how perilous life may seem here on Earth.”
The Tide ministry has worked in Nigeria since 2009, and today, the ministry offers Gospel radio programming in 11 different Nigerian languages. These programs have the potential to reach millions who do not yet know Jesus as their Savior. The Tide ministry’s Radios for Nigeria project also puts radios in the hands of Nigerian families or villages that are too poor to purchase one, as a third of the Nigerian population lives below the poverty line.