In what seems to be an intentional and provocative act, An Ex-Nigerian governor of the most volatile and crisis ridden state in Nigeria, boasts that with the Muslim – Muslim ticket, they have silenced the Christians and the Christian association of Nigeria, that they have done it in Kaduna state and now they have replicated at the federal level with the president and vice been both Muslims. El-Rufai has convinced himself that having Muslims in all political positions in Nigeria is what will bring peace to Nigeria.
Nigeria ranked alongside North Korea, Afghanistan, others as top 10 Christian-persecuting countries

What we successfully did in Kaduna (Muslim-Muslim ticket) has now been replicated all over the country. No liar will ever come out to play politics of Christianity and win election ever again – El Rufai
El-Rufai boasts of defeating Nigeria Christian Association.

This is coming at a time when the country is trying to heal as Christians are been killed in dozens.

How are Christians persecuted in Nigeria? 

The persecution facing Christians in Nigeria is extreme and often brutally violent, as Islamic militants and armed bandits attack with increasing impunity.

This mostly affects believers living in the Muslim-majority north and Middle Belt, but it’s also spreading to the south. Although all civilians are subject to threats and violence, Christians are often specifically targeted because of their faith. Boko Haram and the Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP), for example, want to eliminate the presence of Christianity in Nigeria. More Christians are killed for their faith in Nigeria than in the rest of the world combined.

Men and boys are often specifically targeted by extremist groups, with the aim of destroying livelihoods and stifling Christian population growth. Christian women and girls in northern Nigeria, and increasingly further south, are vulnerable to persecution for their faith and gender – they are frequently targeted for abduction, sexual assault and forced marriage by armed groups. Christians are dispossessed of their land and their means of livelihood, and many live as internally displaced people or refugees.

In northern states that operate under Sharia (Islamic law), Christians can be treated as second-class citizens, whilst Christians who convert from Islam are also at risk of pressure and persecution. Christians from a Muslim background also face rejection from their own families, pressure to give up their faith, and often physical violence.

Is it getting harder to be a Christian in Nigeria? 

Nigeria has moved up one place on the World Watch List this year, reflecting the increasing jihadist violence across the country. Christians continue to be attacked indiscriminately and brutally in northern Nigeria, and the violence has now spread to southern Nigeria. As the government persists in its official position of denial of religious persecution, Christians’ rights continue to be violated with impunity. 

*Report says Nigerian Christians face ‘Islamic oppression’

‘Islamic oppression’ was the source of Christian persecution in Nigeria, according to the report, which also observed that the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari appoints Muslims to ‘key’ government positions.

The Open Doors report, which was the subject of featured reports by the Voice of America, The Christian Post and Christianity Today, noted that violence against Christians in Nigeria accounted for a large proportion of the 60 percent increase in the number of Christians killed worldwide in 2020.

In a profile on Nigeria, Open Doors stated that “More Christians are murdered for their faith in Nigeria than in any other country”, and specifically identi‎fied violent attacks by Boko Haram, Hausa-Fulani Muslim militant herdsmen, Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP), an affiliate of the Islamic State group, and other Islamic extremist groups in the North and Middle Belt as common examples of Christian persecution.

It also noted that the attacks on Christian communities in Nigeria are spreading ‘farther South’.

The report added that several Christians who were driven out of their villages and away from their sources of livelihood ended up becoming internally displaced persons (IDPs), often living in informal IDP camps.

Open Doors said Nigeria entered the top 10 of the watch list for the first time due to the effect of the worsening state of insecurity in the country on Christians.

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