NIGERIA--Nigeria's upcoming 2003 general elections have presented a bevy of presidential candidates. The development has alarmed some authorities who say that could set the stage for civil unrest. SIM's Bill Foute (fowt) says the history of trouble that follows Nigeria presents its own "trial by fire" for their ministry. "The big challenge for us: to disciple people to really follow the Lord day in and day out. The Christian faith of many tends to be fairly shallow, and then secondly, probably the biggest challenge is how to respond to Islam, especially in the northern parts of the country." Foute says that the spiritual climate is still good for evangelistic work, but asks for prayer. "Right now, the church has great freedom, the Head of State is a Christian and there is democracy and freedom of religion. The only place where that's a bit altered is in the north. There are about twelve states that have instituted Sharia or Islamic law."
By Albert H. Lee