USCIRF Recommends Designation of Nigeria as Country of Particular Concern

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The United States Commission on International Religious Freedom, in its latest report, has recommended that Nigeria be designated as a Country of Particular Concern.

“USCIRF is an independent, bipartisan U.S. federal government commission, the first of its kind in the world, dedicated to defending the universal right to freedom of religion or belief abroad. USCIRF reviews the facts and circumstances of religious freedom violations and makes policy recommendations to the President, the Secretary of State, and Congress. USCIRF Commissioners are appointed by the President and the Congressional leadership of both political parties”.

Please see a summary of its report below, and follow the link for full report.

“Religious freedom conditions in Nigeria remained poor in 2017. The Nigerian government at the national and state levels continued to tolerate violence and discrimination on the basis of religion or belief, and suppressed the freedom to manifest religion or belief.

The federal government continued to detain the leader of the Shi’a Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN), Sheikh Ibrahim Zakzaky, along with his wife and hundreds of other members, and state governments continued to ban the group’s activities. Sectarian violence between predominantly Muslim herders and predominantly Christian farmers increased, and the Nigerian federal government failed to implement effective strategies to prevent or stop such violence or to hold perpetrators accountable.

Despite gains made by the Nigerian military in the fight against Boko Haram, the government’s non-military efforts remained nascent, and Boko Haram’s attacks continued. The government also failed to hold Nigerian Army officers accountable for excessive use of force against IMN members, against Boko Haram, and in efforts to curtail sectarian violence. Finally, other religious freedom abuses continued at the state level, including coercive official or societal actions to enforce particular religious norms. Based on these violations, in 2018 USCIRF again finds that Nigeria should be designated as a “country of particular concern,” or CPC, under the International Religious Freedom Act (IRFA), as it has found since 2009”.

It will be recalled that during his recent meeting with Nigeria’s President in White House, President Trump had warned that USA would not tolerate the persecution of Christians in Nigeria.

Read the FULL Report HERE

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