The head of a leading Christian persecution watchdog believes there are signs of hope for change in Nigeria.
President and CEO of Global Christian Relief Dr. David Curry says that for years Africa’s most populous nation has been the most deadly country on the planet for believers.
“Global Christian Relief is helping the Christian community in Nigeria with trauma care and other aid. I have heard first-hand the shock and fear that the community is experiencing, and trust me, it’s harrowing,” he stated.
He believes newly elected Muslim president Bola Tinubu can create a better Nigeria.
“While some religious freedom advocates worried that a Tinubu victory would serve to perpetuate the status quo, there are many reasons to maintain hope that he can usher in a freer Nigeria. While he admittedly has his work cut out for him, Tinubu can turn the tide of Islamist extremism and make Nigeria safe for Christians again,” he asserted.
Dr. Curry says the outgoing administration has left the country on the verge of collapse.
He writes in The Christian Post that under President Buhari’s watch, northern Nigeria has become a frontier for Islamic extremist groups, warlords, and violence.
He notes that President-elect Tinubu has vowed that he will not run his administration on the basis of religion.
Dr. Curry also points out that his wife is a Christian and an ordained pastor of the Redeemed Christian Church of God.
He stressed that the new president needs to focus on dealing with extremists head-on to protect religious freedom and faith communities in Nigeria while restoring law and order.
He is also shocked that the US State Department “inexplicably” removed Nigeria from its Countries of Particular Concern (CPC) over the past two years.
“Nigeria immediately needs to be added back to the CPC list. Not having that designation in place prevents the US from publicly recognising the full scope of the problem and imposing targeted sanctions on bad actors there. The State Department and President Biden can play an important role in helping Tinubu create the Nigeria so many hope for,” he explained.
The Global Christian Relief head says the US needs to appoint a special envoy who can coordinate responses across borders and bring together regional governments to coordinate more effectively to stop terrorism.
More Christians are killed for their faith in Nigeria than in all other countries combined at an average of 10 every day.
President-elect Tinubu will take power in late May.