Since 2009, Boko Haram, the world’s deadliest terrorist militia, has taken over 15,000 lives, displaced some 2.6 million people and abducted women and girls, including the famed 276 Chibok girls. Because it is fueled by an extremist religious ideology, Boko Haram cannot be defeated by military power alone. Nigeria’s religious leaders, both Muslim and Christian, play a critical role in stemming the flow of recruits to this terrorist organization.
The OMNIA Institute's reputation for political, theological, and civic leadership training drew an invitation by Nigeria's top religious leaders to explore the situation first-hand. Meeting with with pastors, imams, chiefs, local and state political leaders, as well as victims of Boko Haram and two of its former members, a partnership was formed enabling the OMNIA Institute to bring its program to Northeast Nigeria.
The goal of this partnership is to reduce the number of recruits to the ranks of Boko Haram. OMNIA Institute is training leaders who will in turn teach Christians and Muslims an alternative way of being authentically religious, rather than the false claims offered by Boko Haram. Its method of contextual theology will attune preachers and teachers to see within the Nigerian context keys to understanding principles that are core to both religions: how to love God and love your neighbor, how to be grounded in their own prophetic tradition and how to enhance opportunities for collaborative peacemaking.
This project is not without risk or financial cost. Yet we believe it offers the best opportunity for Nigeria to restore a nourishing religious narrative, sow new seeds of peace, and insure a hopeful future for its people. If you want to help us, click on the "Nigeria Project" button to the right or become a Nigeria OMNIA Institute Partner..