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CAN criticizes US for excluding Nigeria from religious freedom list

The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has criticized the United States for removing Nigeria from the list of religious oppressors in the country in 2021, saying that terrorist groups and other Islamic groups continue to persecute Christians in the country. .

The mother of the Christian Association said the data used by the US government to exclude Nigeria from the list of countries facing this crisis especially on the issue of religious freedom was shocking.

On Wednesday, US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken issued a statement denouncing Russia, China and eight other countries for religious violations, and excluding Nigeria, which by 2020 is one of the most wanted countries. they persecute other religions.

What irritated CAN

During Blinken’s official visit to Nigeria, which ended on Friday, he said the United States had withdrawn Nigeria due to credible information.

However, in a statement issued by CAN, signed by its president, Reverend Samson Ayokunle, it expressed its displeasure over the move.

She says attacks on Christians continue, especially in the north, and the problem has not changed from 2020 to 2021.

The statement said: “We were not contacted by the US government when it placed Nigeria on a list of countries concerned with religious freedom. they did so when we were able to analyze past and present statistics on religious freedom in Nigeria.

“Christians continue to face harassment from ISWAP and Boko Haram. These groups say their goal is to eradicate Christianity from Nigeria and establish Islam as the only religion from the North to the Atlantic Ocean in the South,” the statement said.

CAN also said bandits had joined the ranks of Islamist extremists in attacking churches, killing worshipers and taking them hostage for ransom.

The group also said that although the problem affected everyone, the government had not taken immediate action to stop it.

The group alleges that the government has so far supported some Islamic groups but has refused to join other international Christian groups.

“So far, our government has supported the membership of Islamic organizations such as the OIC and others without joining any foreign Christian organization.” The group said.

Earlier, the Nigerian government said the issue of naming the country first in the US blacklist was a blow to separatists in the fight against Boko Haram.

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