There are signs that Nigeria could again be placed on the US government’s list of countries that violate religious freedom.
In 2021, the US government removed Nigeria from its list of countries that violate religious freedom against the recommendation of the US Commission on International Religious Freedom.
But according to a Fox News report on Wednesday, a US representative for New Jersey’s 4th congressional district, Chris Smith, on Tuesday introduced a bipartisan resolution to add Nigeria to the state department’s annual list of countries. that violate religious freedom.
Additionally, the report cited Global Christian Relief President and CEO David Curry, who spoke at the International Religious Liberty Summit on Tuesday in Washington, DC, advocating for the inclusion of Nigeria as a country of particular concern.
Curry argued that the alleged abortion program by the Nigerian military was carried out on the victims without their consent and religious consideration.
“Since 2013, the Nigerian military has carried out a secret mass abortion program in the war against Boko Haram. A recent Reuters investigation revealed that at least 10,000 pregnancies for women and girls ended after many were kidnapped and raped.
“The military forced abortions on at least 10,000 women without their consent or consideration of their religious beliefs after they were kidnapped and raped by Boko Haram terrorists. However, instead of being intimidated into silence, 33 of these women spoke openly to journalists about these unspeakable and grotesque violations of their bodily autonomy and raised international awareness of the situation,” she said.
The report added that a former congressman, Frank Wolf, lamented that no action was taken to help Christians in Nigeria.
He claimed the “Bring Back Our Girls” movement was an effort to find the mostly Christian 16- to 18-year-old students who were abducted by Boko Haram in 2014.
“Does anyone remember the BringBackOurGirls hashtag? Well, no matter what, we’re all those guys who went on TV and (posted) the hashtag… 50% of the girls didn’t come back. I met with some of Chibok’s parents. They wonder what the hell the world is doing,” she stated.
Fox News also quoted a State Department spokesperson as saying: “The Secretary determined that the status of religious freedom in Nigeria did not meet the legal threshold to justify designation of Nigeria as a Country of Special Concern or placement on the Special List. of vigilance. We continue to have concerns about religious freedom in Nigeria, which are well documented in the IRF’s annual report, and we will continue to press the government to address them.
“The Department of State has redesignated Boko Haram and ISIS-WA as Entities of Special Concern for religious freedom. It has also designated these entities Specially Designated Global Terrorist and Foreign Terrorist Organizations.”
Calls to the telephone number of the spokeswoman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Francisca Omayuli, were not answered. She has yet to respond to a message she was sent on the matter at the time of filing this report.