Gourma in Nigeria

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People Name: Gourma
Country: Nigeria
10/40 Window: Yes
Population: 40,000
World Population: 1,559,000
Primary Language: Gourmanchema
Primary Religion: Ethnic Religions
Christian Adherents: 5.00 %
Evangelicals: 0.40 %
Scripture: Complete Bible
Online Audio NT: No
Jesus Film: Yes
Audio Recordings: Yes
People Cluster: Gur
Affinity Bloc: Sub-Saharan Peoples
Progress Level:

Introduction / History

The lives and the history of the Gourma, or Gorma, people does not stand out among the many peoples who inhabit West Africa. Yet unlike many of their neighbors, the Gourma people are in a state of spiritual transformation. They embrace traditional religion, but they will probably either wind up Islamic or Christian in the decades to come.

SIM International has translated the New Testament, along with some commentaries for this people group. An Old Testament translation is being done by nationals, with United Bible Society (UBS) supervision.

Where Are they Located?

The eastern sixth of Burkina Faso is home for the Gourma people where they make up the third largest ethnic group. There is a smaller number who live in Nigeria, Niger, Benin, and Togo.

What Are Their Lives Like?

The physical climate of the Gourma's homeland poses great challenges. The lack of adequate water is a stark reality for most Gourma people. Some women must walk as much as five kilometers for water from a dam or a small well. These sources of water have been known to dry up before the rainy season begins. For this reason, it is very difficult for the Gourma people to grow crops.

Education poses another great challenge for the Gourma people, yet there is hope as there has been a growing interest in learning to read and write in their own language, largely through the efforts of a professor from the University of Ouagadougou. There is a great interest in using literacy to help meet practical needs. Publications in their own language include health pamphlets and a monthly newspaper.

What Are Their Beliefs?

The Gorma people as a whole remain strongly tied to traditional practices including sun worship, and sacrifices to the spirits. Many syncretize their traditional religion with Islam, believing in a powerful God who has no time for individuals.

What Are Their Needs?

Like other people groups in rural West Africa, the Gourma people would greatly benefit from running potable water and electricity. They also need good schools that will prepare their children for the changes of the 21st century. On a spiritual level, there is a need for them to hear the gospel and have a chance to respond to it.

Prayer Points

* Pray for spiritual openness among the Gourma people of Nigeria.
* Pray that their elders and clan leaders will decide to allow their people to follow Jesus Christ.
* Pray for a disciple-making movement to flourish among the Gourma people of West Africa.

Text Source:   Keith Carey