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Pressure Mounts On US And Nigeria Over Mass Killings Of Christians

by | Wed, Nov 16 2022

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A petition signed by 33,000 people has been handed to the White House, demanding that the Biden administration takes action over the mass killings of Christians in Nigeria.

It calls on the US to designate Nigeria as a Country of Particular Concern (CPC) for “systematic violations of religious freedom.”

The Christian Post reports the petition tells the President that reinstating Nigeria to the CPC list will send a powerful message that the religious persecution taking place in Nigeria is unacceptable.

It states: “It is not right for America to leave these Christians behind. We must stop the killing.”

Nigeria was the first secular democracy to make the CPC list when the Trump administration included it in 2020.

The Biden administration then inexplicably removed it last year.

That decision was condemned by human rights groups because in that year around 4,650 Christians were killed in Nigeria — more than in any other country in the world.

The attackers are mostly from terror groups affiliated with Islamic State or Boko Haram, or Fulani herdsman claiming land and livestock.

In one horrific incident 25-year-old Christian student Deborah Yakubu was killed by a Muslim mob at her college.

US-based persecution watchdog Christian Solidarity International’s Joel Veldkamp noted that: “The US has a pretty large infrastructure dedicated to religious freedom. If [Deborah’s] own government is not going to take this seriously and our government is not going to take this seriously, I’m really pessimistic about the chances for anything changing for the better in Nigeria.”

Other Christian human rights groups have been equally perplexed about why Nigeria was removed from the CPC list.

CEO of Open Doors David Curry told Faithwire: “We’re puzzled by this because nothing has gotten better in Nigeria. It continues to get worse.”

Mervyn Thomas from Christian Solidarity Worldwide told Premier Christian News that unless Nigerian authorities accept that the violence is religiously motivated, the situation won’t change.

“What’s needed is security for villages and Christians around the central belt and in the northern part. Attacks are happening and the authorities are standing by and watching rather than dealing with it. So it’s extremely serious. I’ve been saying, at least for two years now, that this could be the next Rwanda. It really is becoming a lawless state.”

The US State Department is due to release its annual CPC list shortly.