What are the social changes in Nigeria

Religion as a factor for peace and development in Nigeria

Background information

Many people are traumatized by the years of terror by the jihadist militia Boko Haram in the northeast and the new wave of religious violence in central Nigeria. There is mistrust in the country between Muslims and Christians. The Church of the Brethren in Nigeria (EYN) counteracts this in various ways. Because of their high social position, pastors play an important role in the peace and reconciliation process. Other relevant topics such as HIV, gender-based violence or the advancement of women and girls can also be dealt with by progressive pastors and parishioners inside and outside the church.

EYN has been running the Kulp Theological Seminary, a state-recognized theological training facility, since 1960, and a program for the training and further education of interested lay people (Theological Education by Extension, TEE) since 1974. There are also training courses for pastors. Through the theological reflection on social, economic and political developments, the EYN contributes to answering relevant questions and enables people to take responsibility and actively contribute to solving social problems.

Project goals

With context-related theological training, the project helps pastors, theology students and interested laypeople become driving forces for positive changes in the church and society.

• Pastors as well as students of religious education offer the necessary knowledge to bring about positive social changes in their environment. The training covers the areas of contextual theology, leadership skills and holistic community development as well as various key social topics such as interreligious dialogue, dealing with violence, dealing with infectious diseases such as HIV or environmental protection.

• By linking theological reflection with practical ecumenical work, theology, religion and spirituality become the engine for positive social change.

• The church and its organs contribute to solving important social, economic and political questions.

• The trauma and reconciliation work as well as the peacebuilding of the church are strengthened through a theological reflection process.

target group

The project focuses on pastors and leading employees of the EYN, students of theology and young professionals, as well as interested lay people from inside and outside the church.

activities

• Promotion of holistic and contextual education for leaders of religious training courses as well as for ordained pastors

• Promote holistic and contextual academic education for theology students and future pastors

• Promote holistic and contextual non-academic education for interested laypeople

• Further development and production of theological and socially relevant training material

• Improvement of the learning conditions and learning infrastructure of the theological institutes

• Promotion of networking and exchange among church leaders for reflection and expansion of their own theological principles

Project progress

The EYN's non-academic TEE program has a particular strength in transferring the topics covered into the everyday practice of the course participants. Gender equality and ecological projects such as tree planting are just two of the many topics covered in the program. The success of the program is reflected in the steadily growing interest of the target population. Above all, practical course elements, for example the construction of resource-saving cooking stoves, also arouse the interest of Muslim neighbors, which promotes interreligious dialogue. The Kulp Theological Seminary is making efforts, after the successful affiliation to the University of Jos, to increase its profile and to attract more students.

Nigeria

  • 203.4 million inhabitants
  • 2.4 million people were displaced by the violence from Boko Haram
  • 47% of the population are Christian

 

Project budget 2021

CHF 59,927

Project budget 2019-2021

CHF 180,229

Kevin Ischi

Project information and coordinator of church partnerships
Tel: +41 (0) 61 260 23 37
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Jeanine Krucker

Program Manager Nigeria

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