Yoruba, Oyo in Nigeria

Yoruba, Oyo
Photo Source:  Copyrighted © 2024
Kerry Olson  All rights reserved.  Used with permission
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People Name: Yoruba, Oyo
Country: Nigeria
10/40 Window: Yes
Population: 39,123,000
World Population: 40,858,900
Primary Language: Yoruba
Primary Religion: Christianity
Christian Adherents: 59.75 %
Evangelicals: 53.03 %
Scripture: Complete Bible
Online Audio NT: Yes
Jesus Film: Yes
Audio Recordings: Yes
People Cluster: Yoruba
Affinity Bloc: Sub-Saharan Peoples
Progress Level:

Introduction / History

The ancestors of today’s Yoruba people were the dominant people in what is now Nigeria as early as the 1200s. They were among the most urbanized people in West Africa. This was especially true during the 1100s-1300s where they excelled in stone and copper artwork. They moved to their present West African location in the 1700s because of tribal warfare. As a powerful people group, the Yoruba demanded slaves from neighboring peoples. Most of these slaves were used in the Atlantic slave trade.

Though they are best represented in southern Nigeria, the Yoruba also live in other countries of West Africa. Smaller numbers have managed to migrate to Western nations like Italy, Greece, the UK, the US, Canada and Australia.

What Are Their Lives Like?

Many Yoruba still live in urban centers, but they are also represented in villages. They are well-known for their cultural contributions, especially their unique drum music. In West Africa one can identify a Yoruba individual by their modest but colorful attire.

The Yoruba have contributed to the cuisine of the countries where they reside. People enjoy ofada rice (a spicy dish made with rice and meat) and the deep-fried akara. Moin moin is a Yoruba pudding dish.

The Yoruba diaspora in Western countries falls into two broad categories. There are those who left West Africa desperate for work and the basics of life. Others are well-educated and taking on high-paying jobs.

What Are Their Beliefs?

The Yoruba have a deep respect for the spirit world. In West Africa they are divided into both Sunni Muslim and Christian camps. Members of both of these world religions also engage in ancient African religious practices.

In some countries the majority of Yoruba are Muslim, but they have a Christian population that is capable of taking Christ to everyone. Togo is the country where the gospel witness is weakest.

What Are Their Needs?

Like peoples all over the world the Yoruba need to put all their faith in Jesus Christ, the only one who can bless them with abundant, eternal life.

Prayer Points

Pray for a Holy Spirit directed revival among the Yoruba people that will bless them for eternity.

Pray for an abundance of Yoruba disciplers who will teach others to make more disciples.

Pray for the Lord to bless Yoruba families economically and spiritually, leading them to eternal faith in Christ.

Pray for Yoruba family leaders to point the way to Jesus Christ for entire clans.

Text Source:   Joshua Project