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Nigerian minister hopes to take Gospel to his Muslim-dominated homeland

“Welcome to Zamfara State, home of farming and Sharia,” reads a roadsign in northwestern Nigeria.
Umar Ahmed grew up in Zamfara, which introduced the strict Islamic legal code in 2000. Since then several people have had their hands amputated for theft. A woman accused of fornication was given 100 lashes — despite her protests that she had been raped, the BBC reported.
Nonetheless, 33-year-old Ahmed, who changed his name to Joseph afterhis baptism, plans to return to his homeland and proclaim his newfoundfaith.
“He believes that God will use him to lead his family and several ofhis kinsmen to Christ,” said Biodun Owalabi, director of West NigeriaChristian College in Abeokuta, where Ahmed studied.
Ahmed was disowned by his family for studying the Bible and was “fiercely persecuted by his father for having anything to do withChristians,” Owolabi said.
Church members in his hometown helped him to escape to Lagos, Nigeria’smost populated city, where members of the Amukoko church took him in.
In 2001 Ahmed enrolled at West Nigeria Christian, one of four campusesin Africa supported by Nashville, Tenn.-based African Christian SchoolsFoundation.
“The teachers at WNCC said that Joseph had an analytical mind and askedmore questions than any other student,” said Henry Huffard, thefoundation’s president. After completing his studies, Ahmed returned toLagos and serves as minister for the Amukoko church.
“He is one of the most often-sought resource persons for Muslimevangelism and youth seminars among congregations in Lagos,” Owolabisaid.

FOR MORE INFORMATION, see africanchristianschools.org.

Filed under: International

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