Last week the US delisted Nigeria from the list of religious violators. The Christian Association of Nigeria has faulted the USA for removing Nigeria from its 2021 list of religious violators. The body stated that Christians particularly in the northern part of the country are still being persecuted by terrorist groups and other Islamic associations in the country.
The Christian organisation said that it does not know what date was used by the US government in arriving at her conclusion of countries with freedom to practice her religion without interference and prosecution.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken who is on working visit to Nigeria, in a statement on Wednesday, blacklisted Russia, China and eight other countries as religious violators, leaving out Nigeria which was placed on the same list in 2020.
Blinken later visited Abuja, Nigeria on a two-day official visit that ended on Friday, saying the delisting of Nigeria was based on facts.
However, CAN in a statement on Saturday frowned upon the move, saying Christians are still being ferociously attacked and nothing has changed between 2020 and 2021 to warrant the removal of Nigeria from the list of religious violators.
The statement signed by CAN President, Rev Samson Ayokunle was titled, ‘CPC List: We Are At a Loss On the Data the US Government Used for the Delisting of Nigeria – CAN’.
The statement read in part, “The US government did not contact us when they were listing Nigeria among the countries of ‘Particular Concern’ on religious freedom, neither did they seek our opinion before removing Nigeria from the list. If they had done, we would have been able to compare the statistics then and now on the issue of freedom of religion in Nigeria.