April 23, 2024

Nigeria, World’s Most Dangerous Place to Be Christian, Prepares for Easter

Nigeria’s police chief on Thursday ordered around-the-clock enhanced safety at public venues throughout the nation all through the Easter weekend, fearing spiritual violence in a rustic the place Christians are beneath virtually fixed assault.

Inspector-General of Police (IGP) Kayode Egbetokun said via a spokesman that additional sources can be devoted to sustaining safety at “worship centers, train stations, highways, motor parks, airports, waterways, recreation centers, banks, and other financial institutions, as well as other critical infrastructures and public spaces.”

“The IGP also assures all travelers who will be visiting their hometowns and other places within the country for the festivities of adequate security irrespective of the medium of such travels whether by road, air, waterways, or rail, as deployments have been increased and visibility patrols intensified in all areas including aerial patrol and surveillance,” Egbetokun’s workplace mentioned.

“As we commemorate the crucifixion, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, let us come together in unity and vigilance to ensure a safe and peaceful environment for all,” the assertion mentioned.

The Nigeria Security and Civil Defense Corps (NSCDC) said on Thursday it will deploy 35,000 personnel to defend each Easter crowds and “critical national assets and infrastructure,” together with operatives from its anti-vandalism, particular intelligence, particular feminine, and particular forces squads.

The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) pushed again in opposition to a casual curfew proposed for the Ifeland area to reduce the danger of violence through the Easter vacation. CAN mentioned it had acquired assurances from Muslim and tribal leaders that the weekend can be peaceable.

Speaking on the dedication of a brand new church final weekend, Plateau state governor Caleb Mutfwang made an appeal for peace within the “Middle Belt” or central Nigeria, the place Muslim herders from the Fulani tribes have slaughtered a whole lot of Christians. 

“My prayer as I have trusted God for the people of Plateau State, trust God that all of us that God has deposited in the Middle Belt of Nigeria will come together,” Mutfwang mentioned.

International Christian Concern (ICC) listed Nigeria as essentially the most harmful place on the earth to be Christian in its 2023 “Persecutors of the World” report.

ICC famous that Nigerian Christians face violent persecution from the Fulani within the Middle Belt and from the ISIS-aligned terrorists of Boko Haram within the north. As for the Nigerian authorities, 12 of its northern states have adopted Muslim sharia legislation, whereas the nationwide authorities usually “turns a blind eye” to Christian persecution.

“The government’s inaction on the matter is inexcusable and the violence will only worsen unless the international community steps in,” ICC president Jeff King mentioned when the 2023 persecution report was launched in November.

Despite the grim state of non secular freedom in Nigeria, the Biden administration removed it from the State Department’s checklist of oppressive international locations in 2021, prompting outrage amongst human rights teams and Christian leaders.

Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) wrote a letter to Secretary of State Antony Blinken in early March to ask why Nigeria was not restored to the checklist of Countries of Particular Concern (CPC) for spiritual freedom after a horrifying bloodbath of Christians through the Christmas season.

“As you know, violence against Christians in Nigeria runs rampant. Reports estimate that roughly 5,000 Nigerian Christians have been murdered in religiously-motivated violence in each of the last two years,” Hawley wrote within the letter, which was additionally signed by Sens. Mike Braun (R-IN) and Marco Rubio (R-FL).

“Apparently, your Department believes these repeated, violent attacks against Christians can be attributed to climate change. That is absurd,” Hawley wrote.

Two Nigerian clerics, Bishop Wilfred Chikpa Anagbe of the Makurdi diocese and Rev. Remigius Ihyula, have been equally outraged in February when the Biden administration dismissed anti-Christian persecution as “eco-violence” pushed by a scarcity of fertile land.

“Tell me, how does climate change drive someone to hack a person to death with a machete?” Father Ihyula requested. “How do you say because you have issues of climate change or economic inequalities that you go killing people in this manner? Butchering people and destroying everything. Does that make sense?”

Ihyula mentioned the true explanation for the violence in opposition to Nigerian Christians is “Islamic jihad,” and the area’s Islamic extremists usually are not shy about admitting it. He identified that if the issue was a climate-driven scramble for sources, the Fulani Muslims can be negotiating for grazing and watering rights with Christian farmers, not slaughtering them and burning their villages down.

Bishop Anagbe requested how Nigerian leaders may “sit and watch others killing us” with out taking motion.

“All these years, over a decade now, nobody has been arrested, nobody has been prosecuted,” he complained.