Religious Intolerance: CAN Disagrees With US

…Demands Reason For Exonerating Nigeria

The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), has kicked against the removal of Nigeria from the list of countries with religious concern, insisting that there are still cases of religious intolerance in Nigeria.

CAN, in a statement signed by its President, Rev. Samson Ayokunle, on Sunday, questioned the rationale behind the United States’ removal of Nigeria from the concern list as, according to him, available statistics has shown that there are still threats to religious tolerance in most parts of the country.

Nigeria was placed on the list alongside other countries during the regime of President Donald Trump in 2020 for engaging or tolerating “severe violations of religious freedom.”

However, on Wednesday, November 17, the United States removed Nigeria from the list of religious freedom violators during the visit of US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken to President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa in Abuja.

In the CAN statement, the body asked the US to disclose the statistics it relied on before taking the decision to remove Nigeria from the list of religious freedom violators.

The Christian body noted that the US decision was at “variance with the reality on ground” and challenged the President Joe Biden’s administration to provide more information in order to clear the doubts on the matter.

The CAN statement reads:  “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.

“All right-thinking people would continue to ask the US government to let the world know what has changed on the issue of religious freedom and persecution the Christians are facing between the time they placed the country in the list of ‘Countries of Particular Concern’ and now.

“CAN, in particular, will like to know. This is because all the factors that put Nigeria on the CPC list for the first time in 2020 are still there.


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