A Nigerian priest who works with victims of Boko Haram wants to bring attention to various ways Christians face persecution in the violent country.
Thousands of Christians in Nigeria have been massacred, raped and enslaved by Boko Haram, an affiliate of ISIS, and Muslim Fulani herdsmen.
Father Joseph Fidelis told The Christian Post of six ways Christians are discriminated that impact their finances, jobs, education, and ability to worship – and asked for prayer for each.
Political: Christians are “deliberately deprived” of high-level positions in government. Qualified candidates for directorships are routinely given to Muslims over Christians.
Economic: In areas where Christians had shops that were destroyed by violence and reconstructed by government, rebuilt shops and markets are allocated to Muslims.
Land Grabbing: Government policies would create regions reserved for nomadic herders in every state. But the amount of land each state is expected to give would require taking land from other citizens.
Denying Land for Churches: It’s become extremely difficult in some northern states for Christians to obtain land to build churches. Land sales must be approved by local officials, most of whom are Muslims who oppose constructing churches.
Denial of Pensions: Many Christians retiring from government are often denied their fair pension. Some officials in charge of pensions demand kickbacks from Christians. While not outright denied their pensions, Christians are often forced to fight obstacles up to 5 – 10 years.
Denial of Education: Studying law or medicine in some northern states is denied to Christians despite being qualified. This takes well-paying jobs out of reach.
These tactics are not unique to Nigeria. Christians in dangerous countries often face discrimination in education, jobs, worship, and every-day life, along with the constant threat of violence, imprisonment and death.