Help a Nigerian bishop feed and clothe his flock: LifeFunder
WASHINGTON, D.C. (LifeSiteNews) — Republican Congressman Chris Smith wants to see President Joe Biden recognize the ongoing violence against Christians and Muslims in Nigeria and add the African country to a list of religious freedom violators.
The New Jersey Republican introduced a bipartisan resolution “calling on the Biden Administration to add Nigeria to the State Department’s annual list of countries that violate religious freedom — known as Countries of Particular Concern (CPC) — and appoint a Special Envoy to Nigeria and the Lake Chad Region to monitor and combat atrocities in the region.”
“Smith’s resolution comes in response to Secretary Blinken’s decision to omit Nigeria as a CPC in its 2021 and 2022 International Religious Freedom Reports despite widespread religious persecution plaguing the country,” a news release from his office explained.
Texas Democratic Congressman Henry Cuellar is a co-sponsor of the resolution.
The legislation notes that the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom reported that “in Nigeria’s Middle Belt, nonstate armed groups also conducted attacks on houses of worship, religious ceremonies, and religious leaders, with Christian communities and their churches hit particularly hard.” The commission also found “the Nigerian government has often failed to respond sufficiently to violence against religious leaders and congregations.”
An African bishop previously criticized Democrats for ignoring violence in the country.
The resolution also cites a report that found Nigeria accounted for “‘5,014 Christians killed in 2022, nearly 90 percent of the total number of Christians killed worldwide . . . [and] almost 90 percent of kidnappings carried out against Christians in 2022.”
Smith stated further:
You can’t give President Buhari a passing grade when he has utterly failed to protect religious freedom, including and especially that of Christians. The failure to hold Buhari to account—and even reward him by withdrawing the CPC designation—will only embolden Fulani militants. The Biden Administration must act immediately and redesignate Nigeria as a Country of Particular Concern to mitigate this alarming and growing threat to religious liberty, especially given the upcoming presidential elections.
Nigeria remains #1 in the world for Catholic Mass attendance, despite the persecution, as recently reported by LifeSiteNews.
Georgetown University researchers found that 94 percent of Nigerian Catholics report attending Mass on a weekly basis.