Even though Nigeria holds the No. 14 spot on this year’s World Watch List for Christian persecution, positive developments are still occurring to help advance the Gospel and reach new believers. The Tide® shares the hope of Jesus Christ through radio programming in Nigeria and regularly hears reports from leaders in the country where the 70-year-old ministry works to spread the Gospel to unreached people groups.
In Nigeria, leadership recently reported that radio stations in the African nation had raised fees for airtime. “To the glory of God,” the representative shared, individuals and organizations came forward with the necessary funds so the Gospel programming could continue. The Tide-aided ministry in Nigeria is also engaging in one-on-one counseling for those in need, as well as helping displaced families whose homes have been burnt down by insurgents from Boko Haram. They not only have no roofs over their heads, but also scarce food, water, clothing or medical care.
“Nigeria is the most highly populated country in Africa, and has an incredibly diverse population,” said Don Shenk. “There are over 470 different languages in use in Nigeria, and many Nigerians don’t currently have the opportunity to hear about Jesus in their own language. Likewise, a large number face daily difficulties and desperately need the hope of Christ.”
Nearly 10 years ago, The Tide began broadcasting in Nigeria in the Efik language, and since then the ministry has steadily added programming in more languages. The Gospel of Jesus can now be heard in 11 different Nigerian languages, potentially reaching millions of people who do not yet know Christ as their Lord and Savior.
“Although Nigeria is rich in agricultural land, mineral resources and oil reserves, a third of the population lives below the poverty line and are too poor to buy a radio so they can hear Gospel messages from The Tide ministry,” Shenk added. “That’s why the Radios for Nigeria project is so important. As people give toward this initiative, The Tide ministry places radios in villages throughout Nigeria. And through these radios, many people are now hearing the Gospel message in their own language and responding positively to God’s offer of salvation.”
Poverty, however, is not the only challenge of new and potential believers in Nigeria. Open Doors USA, which publishes the annual World Watch List, classifies the persecution level in Nigeria as “very high.” Much of the persecution that Christians in Nigeria face is the result of radical Islamic teaching and activity. Islam is the dominant religion in the north of the country, while Christianity is dominant in the south. Radical groups, such as Boko Haram and Muslim Fulani herdsmen, heavily persecute believers, and criminal groups engaged in human and drug trafficking also contribute. Government corruption only adds to the danger for believers.
If you would like to donate to the Radios for Nigeria project, you may do so here.