EYN, Church of the Brothers and Sisters


The Church of the Brethren in Nigeria (Ekklesiyar Yan'uwa a Nigeria / EYN) grew out of the missionary work of the American "Church oft he Brethren" (COB), whose first missionaries asserted the right to Christian mission against the British colonial government in northern Nigeria in 1923. Originally, the church traces its roots to a German group of Christians who were baptized as adults in the 16th century as a sign of true confession. This led to their persecution and eventual emigration to the United States.

Since 1959 there has been a partnership between the EYN and Mission 21, at that time the Basel Mission. The headquarters of the church leadership is located in Kwarhi, Adamawa State. Accordingly, the primary distribution area of the EYN extends over the rural northeast of the country, from Maiduguri on the Cameroonian border to Biu and Yola. From there, the church has increasingly expanded its sphere of influence into the large cities. Among others, EYN congregations have formed in the cities of Abuja, Jos, Kano and Lagos. Today, they represent an important financial pillar of the church. With more than one million members, the EYN is the largest national body of the Church of the Brethren worldwide.

Since the mid-1980s, Nigeria has been plagued by a persistent and severe economic crisis. Against this background, there is a lack of sufficient state provision, not least in the health and education sectors. In many places, churches fill these gaps, and so the EYN also became an important part of the Nigerian social system. Today, the church is active in various fields of work and is supported in different areas by Mission 21. The activities include several training centers a literacy program, women's work, an integrated rural development program and humanitarian aid. In addition, Mission 21 supports EYN in its interfaith dialogue with the Muslim population of Nigeria as part of its peace work. This work is relevant in that there is great tension between Christians and Muslims in Nigeria, especially in the northeast of the country. The EYN occupies a special position in these tensions, being the church in Nigeria most affected by the violence of the Islamist terrorist militia Boko Haram. At times, the church had to move its headquarters to the city of Jos because of this. In August 2016, the central church facilities were able to return to their original headquarters in Kwarhi, from where the EYN continues its commitment to peace and development today. 

► To the website of the Church of the Brethren

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Protestant Mission Basel

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