07/09/2022 Nigeria (International Christian Concern) – In a statement on Monday, July 4, Nigeria’s Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, denied concerns of persecution against Christians in Nigeria in response to U.S. senators calling for the reinstating of Nigeria as a country of particular concern for religious freedom.
Mohammed stated in an interview that the concerns expressed about Nigerian Christians’ lack of religious freedom rights hinged upon falsehoods and misunderstanding of the religious situation in the country. He stressed that Nigeria does not have legislation that allows for the violation of religious freedom rights and that “it is not true that Nigeria persecutes anybody on account of his or her faith.”
In an interview, Mohammed recognized the rising insecurity in Nigeria, saying, “we have issues of criminality going on, and the criminals really do not make the distinction of any religion.” He continued, “If statistics are to be taken, I can say confidently that as many Muslims as Christians have been victims of these criminals,” and stated that, to his knowledge, the extremist group, Islamic State West African Province (ISWAP), is the sole known group to target Christians in Nigeria.
ICC finds this statement by Mohammed concerning as it ignores the continuous attacks on Christians by Fulani militants, ICC’s winner for the Persecutor of the Year entity, and the violence posed by Boko Haram, the extremist group of which ISWAP is an offshoot. Furthermore, Christians face a significantly higher amount of attacks and persecution than Muslims, which ICC has recognized.
Please pray for an end to the continued persecution of Nigerian Christians and the recognition by the Nigerian government of the threats to Christianity in Nigeria.
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