Nigeria's Igbo Jews: 'Lost tribe' of Israel?
February 5th, 2013
05:53 AM ET

Nigeria's Igbo Jews: 'Lost tribe' of Israel?

By Chika Oduah, for CNN

Abuja, Nigeria (CNN) - A Shabbat service is underway at the Ghihon Hebrew Research synagogue in the Jikwoyi suburb of Nigeria's federal capital territory.

Fourteen year-old Kadmiel Izungu Abor heads there with his family. They walk alongside stray goats on a road covered in red dust and potholes, lined with open sewage. They are nearly 20 kilometers away from the modern multi-story office buildings and sprawling mansions in Nigeria's capital city of Abuja.

About 50 people gather in the synagogue. They pray from the Siddur, they read from the Torah and as they chant, Abor's mellow alto begins to rise.

In a country of 162 million people tensions often lead to violent uprisings between Christians and Muslims and being part of the religious minority can be an issue. But Abor wears his kippah and his identity with pride.

"I am a Jewish Igbo," he says.

- A. Hawkins

Filed under: Judaism • Nigeria

soundoff (64 Responses)
  1. insanity workout

    http://gohtv.com/read_blog/162220/isabel-marant-sandals-ablaze-in-everyday-life [url=http://beachbodyinsaniy.webs.com]insanity workout[/url]

    April 10, 2013 at 12:00 am |
  2. Hayahdim Yahudim Ysrayl

    Deuteronomy 28:68 = TransAtlantic Slave Trade
    The Ashkanazi Jig Is UP !

    March 7, 2013 at 7:42 pm |
  3. Hayahdim Yahudim Ysrayl

    Beware the 'Beast Man', for he is the Devil's pawn. Alone among the Most High's creations, he kills for sport, lust and greed. Yea, he will murder his brother (Jacob) to possess his brother's land. Let him [not] breed in great numbers, for he will make a desert of his home and yours. Shun him; drive him back into his mountian lair, for he is the harbinger of DEATH.
    He is the Eagle of Obadiah, Esau of Malachi, of Rome, Idumiea, of the Caucas. His flag is the Eagle. Yea, he kills for sport. He is EDOM !

    March 7, 2013 at 7:40 pm |
  4. Stephen

    There are no lost tribes. God knows all the tribes and He has predestined 12,000 from each tribe to be His final witnesses. This marks the beginning of the salvation of Israel turning to Messiah in the last days. This is the 144,000. God names each tribe of 12,000. This is a future event. Read it in Revelation 14. Awesome! Receive Yeshua HaMeshiach as your Lord and Savior and you will truly know His peace. Shalom

    February 6, 2013 at 6:47 pm |
    • Austin

      The good shepherd. The Branch, the Vine, the Seed of Life.

      Jehovah Shammah
      The Lord is There

      February 7, 2013 at 12:28 am |
  5. hippypoet

    There exists no evidence to support belief in any gods. Fact! There exists plenty of evidence to support belief in evolution. Fact! Since no evidence exists of any gods, gods only exist in the mind. Through the belief in god people have created traditions on how to worship and how to live in accordance to their gods commands. People who believe in gods adhere to a mental structure built to explain and give ease to unanswerible fears such as what happens after death. Since no evidence exists for any gods all belief in them is unfounded and speaks more to the fear of death which is as alive today as it was at the founding of the belief! Perhaps the fact of having a consciousness and our very awareness of life/death screams at us to question it all. And perhaps due to a lack of answers we choose to weave a story to answer everything instead of accept the facts! This part I completely understand. It is very nice to have and in the ancient times with many unanswerable questions it was a comfort. Now however with modern science and todays knowledge of the universe and life, beliefs such as these should be a thing of ancient times not modern. It was primitive mans way of coping with a lack of knowledge. It has served its purpose but now only serves to bring us back to its primitive roots.
    To put it simply, the concept of gods bares no merit at this current stage in the evolution of the human species and it would be a betterment to the species to have the concept removed from accepted delusional realities so prevalent in todays society.

    February 6, 2013 at 9:47 am |
    • Chad

      What makes you think that the notion of a common ancestry humans-apes is inconsistent with the biblical account of creation?

      Then the Lord God formed a man[c] from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being. - Genesis 2

      you think that passage is referring to a mud-pie figure? like Pinocchio only made out of dirt?

      February 6, 2013 at 11:51 pm |
    • TANK!!!!

      So Adam was an ape? Where is the basis for that interpretation?

      February 6, 2013 at 11:55 pm |
    • Chad

      Humans didn't descend from apes. That's not to say humans and apes aren't related, but the relationship can't be traced backward along a direct line of descent, one form morphing into another. It must be traced along two independent lines, far back into time until the two lines merge.

      February 7, 2013 at 9:09 am |
  6. Atheism is Healthy for Everyone - Kids Too!

    Different kinds of fundamentalist Christians now as much as ever are arguing with each other with as much sense and rationality as a flock of chickens. They can't support their beliefs by any reasonable means, yet they deem themselves fit to judge others from those beliefs or attempt to put others in the midst of their religious infighting. Their beliefs have a very weak foundation and are not consistent, ergo the over 30,000 different denominations.

    Thomas Jefferson (POTUS #3, principle author of the Declaration of Independence)

    Millions of innocent men, women, and children, since the introduction of Christianity, have been burnt, tortured, fined, imprisoned; yet we have not advanced one inch towards uniformity. What has been the effect of coercion? To make one half the world fools, and the other half hypocrites. To support roguery and error all over the earth.

    John Adams (POTUS #2, Patriot of the American Revolution)

    I almost shudder at the thought of alluding to the most fatal example of the abuses of grief which the history of mankind has preserved – the Cross. Consider what calamities that engine of grief has produced! With the rational respect that is due to it, knavish priests have added prostitutions of it, that fill or might fill the blackest and bloodiest pages of human history.

    James Madison (POTUS #4, chief architect of the U.S. Constitution & the Bill of Rights)

    During almost fifteen centuries has the legal establishment of Christianity been on trial. What has been its fruits? More or less in all places, pride and indolence in the clergy; ignorance and servility in the laity; in both, superstition, bigotry, and persecution.

    Thomas Paine (Patriot of the American Revolution)

    I do not believe in the creed professed by the Jewish church, by the Roman church, by the Greek church, by the Turkish church, by the Protestant church, nor by any church that I know of. My own mind is my own church. All national institutions of churches, whether Jewish, Christian or Turkish, appear to me no other than human inventions, set up to terrify and enslave mankind, and monopolize power and profit.

    February 6, 2013 at 8:32 am |
  7. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Pray without ceasing in 2013
    Prayer changes things.

    February 6, 2013 at 7:27 am |
    • Jesus

      Prayer does not; you are such a LIAR. You have NO proof it changes anything! A great example of prayer proven not to work is the Christians in jail because prayer didn't work and their children died. For example: Susan Grady, who relied on prayer to heal her son. Nine-year-old Aaron Grady died and Susan Grady was arrested.

      An article in the Journal of Pediatrics examined the deaths of 172 children from families who relied upon faith healing from 1975 to 1995. They concluded that four out of five ill children, who died under the care of faith healers or being left to prayer only, would most likely have survived if they had received medical care.

      The statistical studies from the nineteenth century and the three CCU studies on prayer are quite consistent with the fact that humanity is wasting a huge amount of time on a procedure that simply doesn’t work. Nonetheless, faith in prayer is so pervasive and deeply rooted, you can be sure believers will continue to devise future studies in a desperate effort to confirm their beliefs!

      February 6, 2013 at 8:52 am |
    • " Pray without ceasing in 2013"

      The most powerful thing a christian can do is pray. The power of your god is so much greater than anything christians can do by their own strength (like trying to ban stem cell research via man's laws or throwing pearls before swine by arguing on the belief blog) that any effort except praying is time wasted, an affront to god and a sin.

      February 6, 2013 at 9:51 pm |
1 2
About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.