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Nigeria ‘s Fragile Election to See Muslim Succeed Christian President

ICC note: Although Nigeria’s new President is considered to be more sympathetic to Christians that the other candidates, concern still lingers about what the future holds for Christians in Nigeria.

By Michelle Vu

4/23/07 Nigeria ( — The most populous country in Africa will witness its first civilian-civilian democratic handover of the presidency on Saturday when the outgoing Christian president of Nigeria will likely be succeeded by one of three Muslim candidates in the country plagued by years of Christian-Muslim strife.

President Olusegun Obasanjo’s election in 1999 ended 15 years of almost completely military rule. There are no Christian candidates among the current presidential front-runners, but Christians are said to favor Umar Musa Yar’adua of the People’s Democratic Party who is thought to be more sympathetic than the other candidates, according to Open Doors USA …

“If there’s a Muslim-elected president – and the two leading candidates are both Muslim – Christian rights in that country will continue to suffer,” Open Doors USA president Car Moeller told Mission Network News. “We know that Nigeria is the home to some of the largest and fastest growing churches in Africa . However, there’s also a great deal of persecution going on in the northern states….”

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