Congressional Commission highlights persecution in Nigeria
International Christian Concern (ICC) reports that the US Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) recently issued a report recommending that the Department of State designate Nigeria as a Country of Particular Concern (CPC) for its severe violations of religious freedom.
USCIRF made the same recommendation in last year’s report, which State did follow in a December 2, 2020 announcement that condemned Nigeria for “having engaged in or tolerated particularly severe violations of religious freedom.” However, the designation was largely undermined by a waiver of the sanctions that normally would have accompanied the CPC designation.
Nigeria has dealt with significant internal violence for years, mostly at the hands of the Boko Haram terrorist group and militant Fulani herdsmen. Tens of thousands have been killed or abducted by these two groups, and hundreds of thousands have been internally displaced.
1,900 civilians and government employees were killed by Boko Haram and Fulani militants in 2020 alone, according to ICC analysis of the situation. Much of the violence is concentrated in Christian-majority areas of the Middle Belt region.