Kidnapping for ransom. Armed robbery. Gang rape. Maiming. Destruction of farm lands. Arson of church buildings. Murder by machetes and assault rifles. These horrific acts of violence have been allegedly carried out by some Fulani herdsmen in Nigeria.
The Fulani (also known as Fulbe) are an unreached people group cluster of around 35 million people who live primarily in sub-Saharan Africa. Traditionally nomadic but with many now semi-nomadic, their homelands stretch across the Sahel from the west coast of Africa to Sudan. Nearly half of all Fulani people live in Nigeria.
The Fulani were the first people south of the Sahara Desert to become Muslims and played a major role in spreading Islam in West Africa. They are still seen as highly influential today. Decreasing availability of fertile land has increased pressure on their traditional lifestyle.
Although the vast majority of Fulani people continue to follow Islam, in many countries, there are reports of increased openness among the Fulani to the good news of Jesus Christ. The ongoing work of radio broadcasts, audio resources and Bible storying sets facilitates the spread of God’s Word from among these mostly oral learners, perhaps even from Fulani to other sub-Saharan Africans.
“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.” (John 10:10-11): Good Shepherd, rescue the Fulani from the enemy who seeks to destroy them. Let them know You as their good shepherd so that they may have abundant life.
“For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds.” (2 Corinthians 10:4): We tear down every barrier that is preventing the Fulani from following Christ and ask for unconditional love for the Fulani to fill the hearts of Christ-followers across West and Central Africa. King of kings, give grace, insight and special equipping to those working among the Fulani.
Ask God how else to pray.
Proverbs are an important part of traditional Fulani cultures. Think of a proverb you would like to share with a Fulani person if you had the opportunity.