US lawmakers deem Nigeria world’s most dangerous place for Christians

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United States House of Representatives has said that Nigeria has been cited as the most dangerous place for Christians in the world. In this connection Christopher Smith Chairman of US House of Representatives’ Sub-committee on Africa, Global Health, Human Rights and International Organization made the statement after the former President Goodluck Jonathan made a presentation to the Sub-Committee on the challenges faced by Christians in Nigeria.

Christian persecution in Nigeria

Christopher Smith stated: “My subcommittee has broadly investigated the crises facing Christians in Nigeria today. My staff director, Greg Simpkins and I have made several visits to Nigeria, speaking with Christians and Muslim religious leaders across the country and visiting fire-bombed churches, such as in Jos.”

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While making the declaration, he said: “Unfortunately, Nigeria has been cited as the most dangerous place for Christians in the world and impunity for those responsible for the killing of Christians seem to be widespread.”

At the same time, sub-committee appreciated the efforts of former Nigerian President as he had established the Goodluck Jonathan Foundation, stating: “Your timely concession after your electoral loss in 2015, demonstrates a commitment to democracy and the stability of your nation, which was acknowledged by current President Muhammadu Buhari.”

United States Commission for International Religious Freedom (USCRIF) in its annual report on Nigeria stated: “Religious freedom conditions in Nigeria continued to be troubling during the reporting period. While the Nigerian military successfully recaptured territory from and arrested members of Boko Haram, the terrorist group returned to an asymmetrical warfare campaign, including suicide bombings of mosques and other civilian targets.

It also reportedly forced Christians to convert and forced Muslims to adhere to its extreme interpretation of Islam. Boko Haram violence and recurring clashes between Muslim herders and Christian farmers continue to impact negatively religious freedom and interfaith relations in the country. The Nigerian federal government fails to implement effective strategies to prevent or stop terrorism and sectarian violence and it does not bring to justice those responsible for such violence, thus fostering a climate of impunity.”