September 19 - Pray for: Niger

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The numbers of those who follow Christ increases, but Niger's high birthrates far outpace Christianity's growth rate. There is great pressure to remain in - or return to - Islam. New believers feel isolated. Below the radar, movements are forming of Jesus-followers who have seen enough of Islam to choose a different path. Pray for those from a Muslim background who have chosen to follow Jesus; may they persevere and remain faithful amidst all the difficulties they will face.


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This pioneer land still needs missionaries for all parts of the country. Loving ministry by Christian missionaries - working through aid, development, health and education - has won credibility for the gospel and increased interest and response from both Muslims and animists. Pray for more labourers. There is a growing contribution to missions by Nigeria and Brazil. Pray for sensitivity in helping small, young churches and their leaders to maturity.

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Some of the least-reached peoples of Niger are particularly strategic for prayer:

  • The Tuareg/Tamacheq, once rich, are now impoverished and resentful due to drought, famine, changing trade patterns and political changes. Holistic outreach and selfless ministry by workers from SIM, the Baptists, JEMED/YWAM, Sahara Desert Mission, Tearfund and others has seen the advent of several groups of believers. SIM and SIL workers are translating the Scriptures; the Tamacheq NT was dedicated in 2016. This material is distributed on SD card and broadcast on local and national radio. Tuareg customs and their unique alphabet hint at a possible once-Christian heritage.
  • The Zarma are Muslim but strongly influenced by traditional practices. Only a few hundred believers are known. Evangelical Baptist missionaries laboured long to produce a complete Bible translation and to plant several congregations.
  • The five Kanuri peoples have a 1,000-year-long history of Islam. Though considered resistant to the gospel, they prove receptive to sensitive witness. Kanuri Manga Christians have grown to a few congregations. They pray for their families and villages to believe, as natural social units, but also for the sake of security in the face of persecution. Though Kanuri Yerwa has had a completed NT for some time now, the Manga version, along with a dramatizes audio version, have just been completed. Both groups have the JESUS film. Further translation along with oral Scripture resources and more workers for the harvest are vital to reach the Kanuri.
  • The Fulbe (Fulani) include both the settled Sokoto and nomadic Wodaabe/Bororo Fulbe of the southwest and the less Islamized, nomadic Fulbe spreading across the entire southern part of the country. IMB, SIM, and others work among the increasingly responsive Fulani peoples in Niger. The NT has been translated in two dialects; OT translation is nearing completion in one of those. Other ministry amongst the Fulbe includes radio work, distribution of evangelistic media (SD cards, solar-powered MP3 players, etc.), and equipping local believers through Bible schools and discipleship training centres.
  • The Songhai, a riverine people who once ruled an empire, have very few Christians among them, as few as 0.2%. SIM, IMB and some Brazilian workers reach out to the Songhai, a difficult task to a strongly Muslim people who regard converts as traitors.
  • The Tubu peoples of eastern Niger are nearly 100% Muslim. Currently, no Kingdom workers are known to be serving among them in Niger. SIL has done language development work for one of the Tubu dialects.
  • Arab peoples, including not only Arabized Berbers but also Moors and Libyans. SIM is preparing workers to reach out to them.
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Young people are the most open and responsive, yet not enough has been done to reach this key sector of the nation. The fragile politico-economic situation often causes the universities to be closed, disrupting student ministries. GBU(IFES) operates groups in the university in Niamey and works in high schools in two other cities. The Navigators and Cru also have ministries, and SIM runs an evangelistic student centre near the University of Niamey. Pray for a deep and lasting impact through campus ministries.

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Content taken or adapted from Operation World, 7th Edition (2010) and Pray for the World (2015). Both books are published by InterVarsity Press. All rights reserved.