Of the 5,500 Christians who were killed last year because of their faith, 90 percent were Nigerian, according to Crux and the International Society for Civil Liberties and Rule of Law (Intersociety), an NGO headquartered in Eastern Nigeria. Additionally, Intersociety reported that over the past 14 years, 52,250 people have been killed in Nigeria for their Christian faith.
Nigeria’s Constitution “forbids the federal and state governments from establishing a state religion, forbids religious prejudice, and guarantees people’s right to freely choose, practice, spread, or modify their faith,” says Crux.
While this declaration may seem outwardly beneficial for Christians, Megan Meador from Alliance Defending Freedom said her organization has “had cases where Christians have been hauled in front of Sharia courts, without jurisdiction, and accused of crimes like apostasy, which is not supposed to be a crime in Nigeria.”
The danger Christians face in Nigeria ranges from individual to family, community, and government. Despite its efforts, as proven through the constitution, Nigeria fails to protect its population of approximately 108.3 million Christians, roughly half of its total population.
These facts contribute to ICC’s push for the United States to designate Nigeria as a Country of Particular Concern in its upcoming religious freedom designations for 2023.
Over the past twenty years specifically, Nigeria has faced increased violence against Christians, particularly in the northern region of the country. Despite its apparent lack of recognition in the United States due to a failure to designate it as a Country of Particular Concern, Nigeria is widely regarded as the world’s worst persecutor of Christians. — International Christian Concern