100,000 Christians Have Been Murdered In Nigeria

Nigeria has become a hotbed of Christian persecution, with killings, land grabs, and other forms of rebuke putting Bible believers in a truly precarious predicament. Jeff King, president of International Christian Concern (ICC) and one of the world’s most knowledgeable experts on religious freedom and persecution, told CBN Digital his organization’s recent “2023 Persecutors of the Year” report explores the full scope of the problem. “Most Americans have no idea what’s going on in Nigeria, but imagine this: for the last 20 years, probably up to about 100,000 Christians have been murdered,” King said. “Three-and-a-half million Christians, their lands have been taken from them, and the government’s pretty much done nothing.” King said he’s been trying to wake officials in Washington up to this reality for the past two decades, noting “hardly anything happens” to halt the chaos. As for the pain and suffering facing Christians in Nigeria, he said “radical Islamists … are embedded in the government.” He said these individuals and groups “own the organs of state,” including the army, the intelligence agency, and the police, which further hampers any progress.

One of the ironies surrounding Nigeria is the massive Christian population, with nearly half of residents claiming to be Bible believers. Such a large proportion of Christians makes the persecution problem seem confusing for outsiders, as one might wonder why such a massive proportion of people are falling prey to extremists. But King said geographic and population issues are at the issue’s core. “What you’ve seen over the last 10 or 20 years, is the Christians have been driven out of the north,” he said. “Now, the battle has come to the middle of the country that was largely Christian, and now they’re being pushed out.” He continued, “And now the attacks are going south.”  King said Nigerian Christians face daily persecution, with land and lives being tragically taken. Circling back to the U.S. government and a perceived lack of action on Nigeria, the U.S. Department of State’s Countries of Particular Concern list, a designation targeting nations restricting or complicit in religious freedom violations, comes to the forefront of the discussion. The Biden administration again declined last December to add Nigeria to the list despite the dire situation inside the country.

The Trump administration had previously placed Nigeria on the list in 2020 before the Biden administration removed it. The recent decision to keep Nigeria off the list has riled religious freedom advocates frustrated by the U.S. government’s approach. King speculated one of the factors is oil, as Nigeria has this resource and, as a result, is set apart in the eyes of the world. “If religious freedom was the only prism we looked at Africa through, this country would be dealt with,” he said. “But because of their strategic importance, because of the fact that they’re an oil-producing nation, they’ve gotten away with a lot, and so we’ve let them off the hook over and over.”

Source: Faithwire

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