Biden Turning His Back on Christian Bloodshed in Nigeria: Report
Nigeria has become a hotbed of mistreatment and extermination of religious minorities, Family Research Council President Tony Perkins warned on Tuesday. “Observers of the situation in Nigeria have noted how northern Nigeria has become a frontier for Islamic extremist groups, warlords and violence under the watch of the country’s outgoing president, Muhammadu Buhari,” Perkins said on “Washington Watch.”
As an example, Perkins noted the murder of a village pastor’s son and the kidnapping of his wife and three others in Nigeria’s Kaduna State last week. Attacks on Christ-followers continue to rise in the central African nation and yet the U.S. State Department opted to not label Nigeria as a major perpetrator of persecution.
Perkins cited an Open Doors USA report that revealed in 2020, 5,621 Christians worldwide were killed for their faith. He continued, “90% of these killings occurred in Nigeria,” citing a January 17th release by the organization. Yet the U.S. State Department is ignoring these reports, he insisted.
“The policy of the Biden administration has been a fundamental failure,” said Frank Wolf, a former congressman who serves as a commissioner on the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF). Without a true human rights champion in the White House, Wolf said the best hope is congressional action, pointing to a resolution on the issue that is gaining support in the House.
Perkins lauded Wolf for warning about the “deteriorating religious freedom conditions in Nigeria amid the rise of terror groups” for years.
The commission has grave concerns about the persecution of Christians and other minority faiths in Nigeria, explained Wolf, who served in Congress from 1981-2015. Wolf is considered the architect of the International Religious Freedom Act, out of which USCIRF — an independent government entity charged with monitoring, analyzing, and reporting on the state of religious freedom worldwide — originated.
In a recent press release, USCIRF found it “inexplicable” that the Biden Department of State opted to not include Nigeria on the department’s “Countries of Particular Concern” (CPC) list, which includes nations that engage in or tolerate “systematic, ongoing, and egregious violations of religious freedom.”
USCIRF Chair Nury Turkel indicated there was no valid reason for the State Department to fail “to recognize Nigeria … as [an] egregious violator of religious freedom.” According to the Commission’s website, “Religious freedom conditions in Nigeria remain poor, with both state- and societally-perpetrated violations.”
The stated goal of Boko Haram and the Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) is to purge the presence of Christianity in Nigeria, according to Open Doors. The organization, a group that advocates for and supports persecuted Christians, reports in its “World Watch List,” “The huge increase in violence in Nigeria and Sub-Saharan Africa has caused more Christians to lose their lives in the last five years. Christians killed in 2023 numbered 80% more than five years ago (3,066).”
Perkins noted the Trump administration had included Nigeria on the “Countries of Particular Concern” list, but the Biden State Department reversed the decision.
Wolf called attention to a bipartisan resolution introduced in Congress by Chris Smith (R-N.J.) that urges the Biden Administration to redesignate Nigeria as a country that commits and condones serious violations of religious freedom.
“The failure to hold President Buhari to account — and even reward him by withdrawing the CPC designation — will only embolden Fulani militants,” said Smith in a press release. “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…”
Wolf told Perkins it is critical Americans contact their representative and urge them to support the resolution, which also calls for the appointment of a special envoy who will coordinate the United States’ “efforts to monitor and combat atrocities” in Nigeria.
“Almost every other day there’s somebody killed,” Wolf said. “If this were happening in Sweden or Norway, the world would be up in arms. This [is] in Nigeria, and they’re not doing anything about it.”
K.D. Hastings and his family live in the beautiful hills of Middle Tennessee. He has been engaged in the evangelical world as a communicator since 1994.