Ju in Nigeria

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People Name: Ju
Country: Nigeria
10/40 Window: Yes
Population: 2,700
World Population: 2,700
Primary Language: Ju
Primary Religion: Ethnic Religions
Christian Adherents: 4.00 %
Evangelicals: 0.50 %
Scripture: Translation Needed
Online Audio NT: No
Jesus Film: No
Audio Recordings: No
People Cluster: Chadic
Affinity Bloc: Sub-Saharan Peoples
Progress Level:

Introduction / History

The Ju are a small indigenous, agricultural people who live in east central Nigeria. The Ju people have had their own culture and language for centuries, but now the dominant Hausa-Fulani culture is replacing it. We need to pray for them. No Christian resources are currently available in the endangered Ju language. Young people prefer to speak the Hausa and English languages they learn in school.

Where Are they Located?

The Ju are a very small people group in Bauchi Local Government Area of Bauchi State. Most live in their own separate villages in east-central Nigeria.

What Are Their Lives Like?

The Ju people are highly influenced by the Hausa/Fulani culture. As that process continues, the Ju people will probably lose their own language and culture and could possibly adopt folk Islam like the Hausa-Fulani.

Illiteracy is very high among the Ju people so the gospel will need to be shared with them in oral and visual forms.
The Ju live in rural villages surrounded by the land they farm. They grow rice, maize, millet, beans, melons, and vegetables. Peanuts, palm oil and kola nuts are cash crops. The Ju buy things they cannot make for themselves like cell phones and tools. Most families also have goats and cattle to obtain milk, meat and hides.

Most people groups in rural Nigeria like the Ju enjoy music, story telling and dance as a form of entertainment and communication. These art forms are very meaningful in rural Nigeria. Those who want to take the gospel to the Ju people would do well to use these art forms when presenting the gospel.

What Are Their Beliefs?

Animism is still the major religion of the Ju. They Ju believe the spirits inhabit the objects of nature like rocks, trees, rivers, animals, and the sky. If these spirits are not appeased they can bring disaster upon the community.

Therefore, the Ju people live in constant fear of these evil spirits. The village shaman connects the Ju with the spirit world and performs magic ceremonies and rituals to gain the spirits' blessings. He or she gives out charms and amulets to protect the people.

What Are Their Needs?

The Ju 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. Most of all, the Ju need to hear and understand the message of Jesus Christ. He alone can deliver them from their fear of evil spirits and grant them eternal life.

Prayer Points

* Pray for the Word of God to be translated into the Ju language.
* Pray for a movement of Ju households to study the Bible and accept the blessings of Christ.
* Pray for a spiritual hunger that will drive the Ju people to the arms of Jesus.
* Pray for workers who are filled with the fruit and the power of the Holy Spirit to go to the Ju people.
* Pray that each Ju person has the opportunity to hear the gospel in a way he or she can understand.

Text Source:   Keith Carey