Two powerful United States Senators Rubio and Hawley have urged President Biden Administration to reinstate Nigeria as ‘Country of Particular Concern’ as escalation of violence against Christians in Nigeria continues.
They wrote and send a letter to U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken “urging him to immediately redesignate Nigeria as a Country of Particular Concern (CPC) under the International Religious Freedom Act. The letter follows recent acts of violence targeting Nigerian Christians that have underscored the deteriorating state of religious freedom in the country.”
Nigeria was earlier put in the list of those countries of particular concern with regards to religious violence by President Trump administration but it was later rescinded by the new in coming Biden administration.
In letter written by the two Republican senators was also signed by Senators Mike Braun (R-IN), Tom Cotton (R-AR), and Jim Inhofe (R-OK).(All Republicans Party members).
The letter reads, “As you are well aware, horrific acts of deadly violence have been committed against Nigerian Christians in recent weeks, including the massacre of churchgoers on Pentecost Sunday and the stoning of a Christian college student. Sadly, such violence has become all too familiar for Christians in Africa’s most populous country. Last year, however, you inexplicably removed Nigeria’s designation as a Country of Particular Concern (CPC) despite no demonstrable improvement in the country’s religious freedom conditions. On the contrary, the situation in Nigeria has grown worse. We previously urged you to immediately reverse your misguided decision, and we write today to renew our call.”
It continues and highlighted the mob killing of Deborah Emmanuel Yakubu, “We remain concerned that the Nigerian government is failing to protect the religious freedom and basic safety of its Christian citizens. Furthermore, as this year’s annual reports from the bipartisan U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) and from your own Department make clear, Nigerian government authorities directly participate in the persecution of Christians, Muslims, and even non-theists, most notoriously through arrests and convictions under blasphemy laws. Make no mistake: continued enforcement of state-sanctioned blasphemy laws enables the type of deadly violence that killed Deborah Emmanuel Yakubu and so many others.”