“The challenges facing Archbishop Babba and the entire LCCN make it clear how important accompaniment truly is.” — Bishop Ann Svennungsen

In 2013, the Lutheran Church of Christ in Nigeria (LCCN), observed its 100th anniversary — celebrating “100 years of God’s Faithfulness” and renewing the church’s commitment to “holistic mission amid difficult times.”

Nigeria is the eighth most populated country in the world with 174 million people, and has more people than any other country in Africa. About 47% of Nigerians are Muslim, 46% are Christian, and 7% are part of a traditional religion.

The Lutheran Church of Christ in Nigeria has 1.9 million members in over 2400 congregations. In 1990, leaders from the Minneapolis Area Synod visited Nigeria to formalize our companion synod relationship. Since 1990, we have enjoyed many leadership exchanges — welcoming LCCN leaders to Minnesota and enjoying the hospitality of LCCN when our synod’s leaders visited there. In celebration of LCCN’s centennial anniversary, the Minneapolis Area Synod raised $450,000 to support health care in Nigeria.

The Companion Synod program of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America is a critical way to live our commitment to accompaniment.

The Companion Relationship is nurtured and sustained through the work of the Nigeria Companion Synod Program Committee. Assistant to the Bishop Craig Pederson provides staff support.


Bitrus FamilyWhile travel to Nigeria has been halted due to civil unrest, we are blessed to have a representative of this relationship serving in our synod. Dr. Ibrahim Bitrus became our Nigerian Theologian-in-Residence in September 2015, shortly after receiving his doctorate in systematic theology from Luther Seminary. Bitrus is spending a month at a time “in residence” in congregations throughout our synod, preaching and leading Bible studies and sharing experiences of life as a Christian in present-day Nigeria.

Bitrus is available for preaching, teaching and presentations beyond the congregations of his residency. Interested in learning more? Contact Craig Pederson, assistant to the bishop, at c.pederson@mpls-synod.org or 612-230-3316.