Biden Admin Leaves Nigeria, World’s Most Dangerous Place to Be a Christian, off Religious Freedom List

The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) immediately criticized Secretary of State Antony Blinken for once again leaving Nigeria off the State Department’s annual list of “Countries of Particular Concern” (CPC) for religious oppression.

In the 2023 edition of its World Watch List, religious freedom group Open Doors estimated that nearly 90 percent of the Christians killed for their faith last year were killed in Nigeria. The Christian aid group International Christian Concern (ICC) identified Nigeria as “the world’s most dangerous place to be a Christian in the world” in 2023.

USCIRF said there was “no justification” for leaving Nigeria and India off the list, especially since the State Department’s own “reporting and statements” suggest both countries should be on it.

The bipartisan USCIRF thought this omission was so egregious that its leaders, Chairman Abraham Cooper and Vice Chair Frederick A. Davie, called for a Congressional inquiry:

Days before Christmas, hundreds of Christians were killed in Nigeria, along with their Pastor. This is just the latest example of deadly violence against religious communities in Nigeria that even the State Department has condemned. The majority of Commissioners have traveled to Nigeria and noted the threats to freedom of religion or belief and the deadly implications to religious communities.

In India, in addition to perpetrating egregious religious freedom violations within its borders, the government has increased its transnational repression activities targeting religious minorities abroad and those advocating on their behalf.

USCIRF rejects the State Department’s decision to omit Nigeria and India as CPCs. We met with the State Department on many occasions to sound the alarm about these countries, but not all of our recommendations have been followed. We will not be deterred and will continue our role as a congressionally mandated watchdog to ensure the U.S. government prioritizes religious freedom as a key component of U.S. foreign policy.

(Read more from “Biden Admin Leaves Nigeria, World’s Most Dangerous Place to Be a Christian, off Religious Freedom List” HERE)

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