Introduction / History The Agatu people live on their ancestral lands in Benue State, Nigeria. Most of the people are subsistence farmers, growing yams, guinea corn, millet, groundnuts and vegetables. Because many Agatu live along the Benue River, fishing is also an important source of food.
For the most part, the Agatu live peacefully with neighboring people groups. When disputes do occur, they are usually about land rather than religion. In particular, some serious disputes with itinerant cattle herders trying to claim Agatu land have broken out in violence.
Missionaries introduced Christianity to the Agatu about 100 years ago, and about 80 percent of Agatu would consider themselves Christians. The remaining Agatu practice African traditional religion or identify with a major world religion present in the region.
The Agatu already have the New Testament in their language; however, the people now feel a deep need to have the Old Testament, too. In the Agatu culture, the Old Testament will be very important as a bridge to understanding the New Testament, particularly for those who practice African traditional religion or another world religion.
Local churches from many denominations are enthusiastically supporting this project, and church leaders are eager to have a complete Bible. Recently, an increasing number of Agatu Christians have become involved with traditional religious practices while others have begun to embrace materialism. Sound teaching from the Scripture will help church leaders to refute these errors and guide their people.