Thursday, May 05, 2011

Mission staff report on Nigeria’s post-election violence.

In their April newsletter, Church of the Brethren mission staff Nathan and Jennifer Hosler report on post-election violence in Nigeria. The Hoslers are serving in peace and reconciliation positions with Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN--the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria), teaching at Kulp Bible College (KBC) in northeastern Nigeria near the city of Mubi.

"Nigerian presidential elections occurred on Saturday (April 16) and there has been violence Sunday and Monday," the Hoslers wrote. "Supporters of one party are angry that their candidate did not win. Rioting has occurred in Mubi (30 minutes drive south) and Michika (40 minutes drive north), along with other main cities in northern Nigeria. This is the first time Adamawa State (the state we live in) has experienced violence like this. Stores and cars have been burnt. People were shot. Churches in Mubi including a main EYN church were targeted but the army was able to intervene before the attack occurred."

The Hoslers share a prayer request "for safety and a restoration of calm and order. Pray for peace of mind for us and our families in North America. Please pray for wisdom and accuracy in information."

The Hoslers have recently begun work with a KBC Peace Club, which successfully completed its first outreach program outside of the college. In March the club traveled to EYN Gi’ima--a large church in Mubi--to present a program on youth and young adults and peace. "Youths, aimless and without jobs to occupy their time, are often and easily persuaded to take up arms as thugs for politicians or others who wish to cause havoc. The program included two dramas and two speakers. The message, given to the 750 people in attendance, was simple but relevant: youth should avoid being used by politicians for violence and instead work for peace."

The couple also have been working on a peacebuilding partnership with the Women’s Fellowship of EYN, known as ZME, one of the strongest groups within EYN. "One of the requests from the ZME Director is for the EYN Peace Program to teach peacebuilding topics during the annual national women’s training seminars," the Hoslers wrote. "Women from every church district gather together and learn topics that range from health and sanitation, skills acquisition (jewelry making, batik, etc.), and biblical and theological topics. The women attendees then return to their districts as resource persons to teach others what they learned...a very effective way of spreading awareness and skills for peacebuilding."

Find more reports from the Hoslers at

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