U.S. “Betrays” Nigerian Christians

Nigeria is where more Christians are killed for their faith than any other country.

Yet, inexplicably, the U.S. State Department removed Nigeria from its list of worst countries that engage in or tolerate severe religious persecution.

This “is an outrageous betrayal of an already brutalized Christian community” and permits “multiplied death squads, torched villages and farmlands, and devastated homeless refugees,” predicted Lela Gilbert, a religious freedom expert.

No fewer than 4,400 Nigerian Christians had been killed between January and September 2021. Countless others have been mutilated, kidnapped, and their churches attacked by Boko Haram and militant Fulani herdsmen.

Nigerian government security forces rarely interfere to stem the persecution.

The de-listing occurred November 19, one day before Secretary of State Antony Blinken visited Nigeria. At a meeting with civil leaders, Blinken appeared to downplay the massacres, referring to the “potential for tension” from “communal violence”.

Two weeks before his visit, villagers reported at least 38 Christians from 11 communities were killed. The day before Blinken’s meeting with civil leaders, terrorists who kidnapped 66 Christians at Emmanuel Baptist Church in Kaduna state released a video of them killing five young men.In the video, “the terrorists said they were attacking Christians and that Christians will suffer at their hands,” Rev. John Hayab told Sec. Blinken.

“How could a country where such a crime is ongoing without any tangible efforts by the government to halt the evil be removed from the list of countries where religious persecution is a problem,” Rev. Hayab of Kaduna state asked.

“These horrific experiences have virtually become a daily affair with hardly any intervention from the Nigeria government,” Samuel Achie from Kaduna state told Morning Star News.

Islamist attacks on Christians also destroy villages and farms so the survivors are unable to feed themselves. Ibrahim Peter, who, along with his wife sustained injuries from an attack, said that militant Fulani herdsmen usually destroy the village crops on Sundays, when the Christians are in church.

Kidnapped Christian women and girls are forcibly converted and enslaved to terrorists.

But one brave girl has resisted. In 2018, Boko Haram abducted 14-year old Leah Sharibu and 104 other girls from a school. Five other girls were killed in the abduction.

Within a few weeks, all of the girls were returned except Leah. She refused to convert to Islam and is still help captive.

Boko Haram has threatened to kill her, but its most recent threat is to keep her a “slave for life”.

Pray for:

  • Leah Sharibu and other Christians in Nigeria to persevere in God’s love.
  • Nigerian officials and Islamist terrorists to repent.
  • S. officials to use their authority to vigorously oppose persecution.