Catholic Charity Lauds U.S. Legislators for Approving Bill that Supports Religious Freedom in Nigeria

Credit: ACN

Catholic Pontifical and charity foundation, Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) International, has congratulated the United States of America (U.S.) Congress for approving a Bill that expresses a commitment to promote religious freedom in Nigeria, and in other countries where it is lacking.

On June 28, the U.S. Congress adopted the State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Appropriations Bill for a total of US$51.7 billion.

The Bill includes several paragraphs related to funding of actions and projects for the promotion and protection of religious freedom, as well as directing financial support to faith-based organizations that are active in Africa’s most populous nation.

This includes $10m “to support religious freedom and atrocity response projects in Nigeria, including in the Middle Belt and Benue State.”

In a Wednesday, July 10 report, ACN noted that the Bill by the U.S. Congress “will go a long way to helping fund efforts to promote religious freedom in countries where it is lacking.”


The charity foundation thanked the U.S. congress for renewing and deepening its commitment to religious freedom in countries and regions where it said “people continue to suffer for their faith.”

The pontifical foundation, which is dedicated to helping address the pastoral and material needs of suffering and persecuted Christian communities across the globe, and publishers of a biennial Religious Freedom in the World Report, said it “salutes this outcome.”

“This is a concrete manifestation of how U.S. legislators acknowledge the painful consequences of religiously motivated violence,” the Executive President of ACN International, Regina Lynch, says in the July 10 report. 

Regina Lynch adds, “Because this is a decision on taxpayers’ money, the acknowledgement includes the fact that faith-based organizations such as the Church are reliable partners for U.S. humanitarian and development projects.”

The Bill approved by the U.S. congress has also allocated $4.8m in funding for the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF).

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It also includes a requirement that the Secretary of State explain to the appropriate congressional committees, within 30 days, why his department did not designate a nation as a Country of Particular Concern (CPC) when making CPC designations, in cases where the USCIRF had so recommended.

The Bill further expresses concern that persecuted religious minorities are not receiving necessary assistance and requiring a report on the status of “small and medium-sized projects to benefit such victims.”

In the July 10 report, ACN says that as per its statutes and mandate, it does not take any funding from government sources, and therefore does not stand to benefit from the outcome of the U.S. Bill that has allocated funding towards support for religious freedom.

“In the belief that this package will be of great assistance to the many groups who continue to suffer terrorist attacks, hardship and discrimination due to their religious convictions, ACN once again expresses its appreciation to U.S. commitment to the cause of religious freedom, and invites other countries to follow this example,” says Regina Lynch.

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