Brethren Collaborate on Nigeria Research

As part of the Church of the Brethren’s work on Nigeria through Global Mission and Service, Brethren Volunteer Service (BVS), the Office of Public Witness, and students at Elizabethtown College have partnered to begin data collection and analysis of Boko Haram violence in northeastern Nigeria. The Church of the Brethren in Nigeria (EYN) has a strong presence in the northeast, an area terrorized by Boko Haram. Because of the Brethren presence in northeast Nigeria, the Church is in a unique position to shed light on the impact of Boko Haram’s violence, especially as it targets Christian communities in the northeast. 

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Using data gathered by Dr. Rebecca Dali, Center for Caring, Empowerment, and  Peace Initiative (CCEPI), BVSers John and Pat Krabacher initiated organizing Dr. Rebecca’s raw data last year to display the 9745 killed by Boko Haram in the northeast in a “Wall of Healing” seen at Annual Conference 2015. Pat Krabacher is updating the “Wall” data with the latest data from CCEPI and integrating short stories of victims into new visual data displays with assistance from Justin North (CoB Columbus, OH).  

At Elizabethtown College, a Church of the Brethren institution, Religious Studies and Interfaith Leadership Studies majors will supplement Dr. Dali’s data by gathering a comprehensive collection of existing news reports about Boko Haram. Advised by Assistant Professor Dr. Richard Newton, they are charting the role of geography, demography, and religion in the conflict. By capturing these two data sets, we hope this research can better represent the impact of Boko Haram violence which can be communicated to U.S. and international humanitarian aid organizations .

Nathan Hosler, Director of the Office of Public Witness, and BVS worker Jesse Winter will work to create a report of this data to be shared with church members and potential advocacy partners. Visual representations of preliminary data should be available through Global Mission and Service at Annual Conference in Greensboro, NC. As we look at the persisting crisis in Nigeria, now two years after Chibok and nearly seven years after the beginning of Boko Haram’s insurgency in 2009, we hope this partnership and analysis can help communicate the pain and suffering of our EYN and Muslim neighbors and bring about meaningful peacemaking initiatives.

In Christ’s peace,

Jesse Winter

Peacebuilding and Policy Associate

Office of Public Witness

Washington, DC

3 thoughts on “Brethren Collaborate on Nigeria Research

  1. Thank you for your comments. There will be at least three opportunities to hear about Nigeria at Annual Conference. Carl and Roxanne Hill and Roy Winter will lead Insight Sessions on July 1 and 2. Jay Wittmeyer will also speak more broadly about trauma healing in Nigeria and elsewhere in his Insight Session on July 2.

  2. Will there be another insight session at Annual Conference 2016 on Nigeria and how it is dealing with Boko Haram insurgencies? It has been a source of much heartbreak with many of us, as it doesn’t seem to be coming to an end. What has the United Nations done? We were under the impression that they were involved early on, but lately, we haven’t heard much about them in regards to Nigeria.

  3. Your documentation of the tremendous ability of human beings being able to arise each day, aware that they or some one(s) in their family may be killed – and,worse, by a neighbor, will certainly be a valuable way to strengthen support of out involvement .. Thank you for this. Lois

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