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‘Democratic’ Nigeria cited for human rights abuses

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[Editor’s note: This story originally was published by Real Clear Religion.]

By Kelsey Zorzi
Real Clear Religion

Late last year, Nigeria became the first secular democracy ever to be designated a “country of particular concern” by the U.S. State Department. And, unfortunately, the designation appears to have become even more fitting with each passing month.
The State Department releases an annual list of the countries around the world it deems to be the worst violators of religious freedom. In accordance with the 1998 International Religious Freedom Act, the government officially designates “Countries of Particular Concern” (CPCs). The government’s CPC review process is taking place right now, even though the list of designated countries is not officially released until December of each year.
The likes of China, which is committing genocide against Uyghur Muslims and destroying thousands of churches, and Pakistan, which regularly hands out the death penalty to individuals for allegedly blasphemous speech, are certain to make the 2021 list. But Nigeria, a newcomer to ranks of CPC status, is rumored to be less of a sure inclusion, despite the fact that it squarely meets the criteria of tolerating systematic, ongoing, and egregious violations of religious freedom.
If anything, the crises facing Nigeria have gotten worse. Armed attacks by gangs and militants increase by the day, and have become more brazen in many instances. Priests are regularly kidnapped, and some are beheaded.  » Read More

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