Jilbe in Nigeria

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People Name: Jilbe
Country: Nigeria
10/40 Window: Yes
Population: 5,300
World Population: 5,300
Primary Language: Jilbe
Primary Religion: Islam
Christian Adherents: 3.00 %
Evangelicals: 0.50 %
Scripture: Unspecified
Online Audio NT: No
Jesus Film: No
Audio Recordings: No
People Cluster: Chadic
Affinity Bloc: Sub-Saharan Peoples
Progress Level:

Introduction / History

The Jilbe are also known as the Zoulbou people. Their language of Jilbe is critically endangered. Most young people prefer to speak Hausa and English, the languages they learn in schools. No Christian resources are currently available in the Jilbe language. Many Jible are unable to read and write so the gospel will need to be shared with them in visual and oral forms.

Where Are they Located?

They are found on the border of northeastern Nigeria and Chad. Their settlement on the Nigeria side has been threatened by insurgency, and the Jilbe town near the border with Chad has not been spared from violence.

What Are Their Lives Like?

The Jilbe's practice of Islam has influenced their culture and identity significantly. They are an agricultural community who live in rural villages surrounded by the land they farm. They grow maize, beans, vegetables, millet, and yams. Peanuts, palm oil and kola nuts provide cash so that the Jilbe can purchase things they cannot make for themselves like cell phones and tools.

What Are Their Beliefs?

The Jilbe people are Sunni Muslims heavily influenced by folk religion. They believe that the One, Supreme God, Allah, revealed through his prophet, Mohammed, and taught mankind how to live a righteous life through the Koran and the Hadith. To live a righteous life, you must utter the Shahada (a statement of faith), pray five times a day facing Mecca, fast from sunup to sundown during the month of Ramadan, give alms to the poor, and make a pilgrimage to Mecca if you have the means. Muslims are prohibited from drinking alcohol, eating pork, gambling, stealing, slandering, and making idols. They gather for corporate prayer on Friday afternoons at a mosque, their place of worship.

In most of the Muslim world, peoples like the Jilbe depend on the spirit world for their daily needs since they regard Allah as too distant. Allah may determine their eternal salvation, but the spirits determine how well we live in our daily lives. For that reason, they must appease the spirits. The often use charms and amulets to help them deal with spiritual forces.

What Are Their Needs?

The Jilbe people need adequate rain for their crops and their livestock so they can live lives free of want and poverty. They need modern medical care and good schools that will help the next generation to thrive in a rapidly changing world.

The Jilbe people need to hear and understand the message of Jesus Christ, that He is more than a prophet. Jesus alone can forgive their sins and get them right with the one, true God.

Prayer Points

Pray for a "Book of Acts" type of movement to Christ among the Jilbe people in Nigeria.
Pray for the Jilbe people to understand and embrace that Jesus wants to bless their families and neighborhoods.
Pray for Holy Spirit anointed believers from the Jilbe people to change their society from within.
Pray for a movement in which the Holy Spirit leads and empowers Jilbe disciples to make more disciples.
Pray that the Bible is translated into the Jilbe language.

Text Source:   Keith Carey