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WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Family Research Council (FRC) today applauded the U.S. State Department for adding Nigeria to its list of "Countries of Particular Concern" (CPCs) for the first time. A CPC designation is given by the U.S. Secretary of State to a nation whose government is engaged in or tolerates severe violations of religious freedom under the International Religious Freedom Act (IRFA) of 1998.
In addition to Nigeria, the United States is designating Burma, China, Eritrea, Iran, the DPRK, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Tajikistan, and Turkmenistan as Countries of Particular Concern.
Lela Gilbert, Senior Fellow for International Religious Freedom at FRC, issued the following statement:
"For decades, Nigeria's Christians have suffered devastating violence at the hands of jihadi groups, including massacres, mutilations, rapes, abductions, and the torching of homes and churches. We applaud the U.S. State Department for declaring Nigeria a Country of Particular Concern (CPC). It is our hope and prayer that the CPC designation will quickly lead to firm international actions directed at the corrupt Nigerian government along with immediate protection and relief for the persecuted Christians there."
FRC has repeatedly and in great detail drawn attention to the horrifying violence in Nigeria and in July 2020 published a lengthy report on the West African country. Since the report's release, "massacre after massacre has devastated Nigeria's Christians communities, and with relentless repetition," Gilbert noted.
Also, according to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, 2.5 million refugees -- many of which are Christian -- have fled from attacks by Boko Haram terrorists since 2009.
On Thursday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is scheduled to join FRC President Tony Perkins on FRC's Washington Watch radio program to talk about Nigeria, among other topics.
To download FRC's full report on Nigeria, visit frc.org/nigeria.