Introduction / History The Asu are a small group of agricultural people who live in west central Nigeria. The Asu speak their language of Asu. The Hausa language and culture is taking over the Asu culture. The Asu people will probably lose their own language and culture and adopt folk Islam like the much larger Hausa-Fulani peoples. No Christian resources are currently available in the Asu language. Many resources are available in Hausa including a whole Bible and the JESUS Film.
Where are they located? The Asu people are found in few rural settlements particularly in Mariga LGAs near Kontagora in west central Nigeria.
What are their lives like? The majority of the Asu are farmers and their literacy level is quite low. Some are traders and artisans.
The Asu live in villages surrounded by their farmland. The Asu grow beans, maize, millet, melons, and yams. They raise goats and cattle for milk, meat and hides. They raise chickens for meat and eggs. Village elders settle legal disputes and deal with outsiders.
Most people groups in rural Nigeria like the Asu 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 Asu people should find ways to communicate using these art forms.
What are their beliefs? The Asu people are Sunni Muslims. Their Islam is heavily influenced by folk or ethnic religion. They believe that the One, Supreme God, Allah, revealed through his prophet, Mohammed, and taught mankind how to live a righteous life through the Koran and the Hadith. To live a righteous life, you must utter the Shahada (a statement of faith), pray five times a day facing Mecca, fast from sunup to sundown during the month of Ramadan, give alms to the poor, and make a pilgrimage to Mecca if you have the means. Muslims are prohibited from drinking alcohol, eating pork, gambling, stealing, slandering, and making idols. They gather for corporate prayer on Friday afternoons at a mosque, their place of worship.
The two main holidays for Sunni Muslims are Eid al Fitr, the breaking of the monthly fast and Eid al Adha, the celebration of Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice his son to Allah.
In most of the Muslim world, peoples like the Asu depend on the spirit world for their daily needs since they regard Allah as too distant. Allah may determine their eternal salvation, but the spirits determine how well we live in our daily lives. For that reason, they must appease the spirits. The often use charms and amulets to help them deal with spiritual forces. If the evil spirits are not appeased, they can bring disaster upon the community.
What are their needs? The Asu 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 Asu need to hear and understand the message of Jesus Christ.
Prayer Points * Pray for the Holy Spirit to give the Asu people teachable and understanding hearts.
* Pray that a strong movement of the Holy Spirit will bring entire Asu families into a rich experience of God’s blessing.
* Pray for the Asu culture to be renewed and enhanced by a work of the Holy Spirit and shaped into a God-centered and God-honoring mold.
* Pray for the Lord to thrust out workers who will be compelled to nurture a disciple making movement among the Asu people.
* Pray for Asu families to be drawn by the Holy Spirit to seek forgiveness through Christ alone, and to understand the adequacy of Christ’s work on the cross. * Pray for translation of the Bible to begin in this people group's primary language. * Pray for the availability of the Jesus Film in the primary language of this people. * Pray for Gospel messages to become available in audio format for this people group.
Nigeria Evangelical Missions Association (NEMA)