Washington D.C., 08 February, 2023 / 8:45 pm (ACI Africa).
A U.S. State Department official sent EWTN a statement noting that “after careful review” Secretary of State Anthony Blinken has decided not to put Nigeria back on a list of offenders of religious liberty.
The statement comes as human rights advocates and members of Congress are pressing the Biden administration to place Nigeria on the watch list in an effort to stop the violence and persecution of Christians in the country.
More than 5,000 Christians were killed in 2022 in Nigeria, according to religious freedom watchdog Open Doors International. The widespread violence and persecution of Christians in Nigeria have continued this year with the January murder of Father Isaac Achi, who was burned to death Jan. 17.
This led many religious rights advocates to call for the U.S. to take a strong stance in defense of Nigerian Christians by adding Nigeria to its annual list of countries that violate religious freedom, known as the Countries of Particular Concern (CPC) list.
The unnamed U.S. Department of State official Feb. 7 sent a statement in response to an inquiry from EWTN correspondent Owen Jensen regarding Nigeria’s omission from the CPC list.