47 Nigerian Christian Groups Write US, Allege Persecution

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A coalition of no fewer than 47 Christian groups have petitioned the United States, requesting the United States Secretary of State, Mr. Michael Pompeo, to include religious persecution in the agenda of his meeting with the Nigerian government during the forthcoming Bi-National Commission (BNC)  meeting next month.

In the letter to Pompeo, which was signed by members of the coalition in Nigeria, United Kingdom and United States, the groups appealed to the US to create a special session for members of the International Religious Freedom Alliance Roundtable to attend the dialogue with the federal government at the BNC meeting.

A portion of the letter sighted by THISDAY read in part, “Despite your placement of Nigeria on the ‘Watch list of Persecuting Countries,’ the egregious killings of Christians continued to occur throughout Christmas. The execution of an abducted Christian Association of Nigeria leader (Rev. Lawani Andimi) is just the latest from the daily atrocities that have claimed over 100 lives since last month.

“Pursuant to Nigeria’s Special Watch listing by your Department, we respectfully request the following urgent steps: That the US State Department place on the agenda, religious persecution, during its upcoming Bi-National Commission meetings with Nigeria in February.

“The US should create a special session for members so the IRF Roundtable can attend the dialogue with the government of Nigeria at the BNC meetings.

“The Nigerian government should be invited to the State Department IRF Office’s events during the National Prayer Breakfast which overlaps with the BNC”.