Annual international summit on religious freedom: Nigerian Christians, victims of “genocide”

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Last Tuesday, Priest Ambrose Ekereku testified about the ongoing "genocide" against Nigeria's Christians at the fourth annual International Religious Freedom Summit in Washington. He calls on the US government to designate the country as a terrorist state and “put an end to these killings”.

The massacres against Christians in Nigeria were denounced by Catholic priest Ambrose Ekereku during his speech during the fourth annual International Summit on Religious Freedom last Tuesday in Washington, reports the Christian post

A discussion on the various violations of religious freedom perpetrated in Ukraine, Armenia and West Africa, allowed the cleric to discuss the situation in Nigeria, a country marked according to him by a "systematic jihad" in which Christians are regularly targeted.

“What is happening in Nigeria is systematic jihad, genocide and ethnic cleansing.”

The cleric strongly criticized the American government, saying that it did not react effectively while “Nigerians are kidnapped, raped, mutilated and massacred by these terrorists”. 

According to him, intervention by the international community remains the only possibility, with Nigerians and the local church being “powerless” in the face of this tragedy. 

“Even the Church is not capable of speaking as it should because if I say in the church in Nigeria, what I am saying now, they would come for me the next moment and kill me.”

Ambrose Ekereku calls on the US government to reinstate Nigeria on the US State Department's list of countries of particular concern reserved for the world's worst persecutors of religious freedom. It also calls on the United States to designate Nigeria as a “terrorist government,” and to act to “end these killings.”

According to the priest, the persecution is not new, but dates back more than a century. Returning to the history of his country, he explains that when the Fulani arrived in the 90th century, they established an Islamic caliphate for XNUMX years. The arrival of British settlers interrupted the conquests which were able to resume when Nigeria became independent, he told the audience.

Nigeria, ranked 6th in theGlobal Persecution Index of the NGO Portes Ouvertes, is the country “where the most Christians are killed because of their faith”. Raids against villages, attacks on churches, rapes, kidnapping and murders... The NGO's report indicates that of 4 Christians killed in the world, the majority (998) were killed in Nigeria.

Open House  further estimates that one in five persecuted Christians lives in Africa. Faced with this dramatic situation, the organization joined an awareness campaign launched in 2023 for a period of four years, entitled “Africa, united against violence”. 

Melanie Boukorras 

Image credit: Shutterstock / BUTENKOV ALEKSEI

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