Nigeria, a country yet to be designated as a ‘Country of Particular Concern’ by the U.S. Department of State, has been listed among the worst persecutors of Christians in the International Christian Concern’s (ICC) 2023 report.
The report depicts an alarming portrait of the dangers Christians face in the country, asserting that Nigeria may be the most perilous place for Christians worldwide.
“Nigeria is arguably the most dangerous place to be a Christian in the world today,” the report stated.
The ICC report detailed 55 attacks in Nigeria resulting in the death of 549 Christians during four months from March to July.
It also highlighted the torching of a Catholic seminary and the killing of a seminarian in Kaduna State, as well as the massacre of over 20 people in a Plateau State village by radical militants in August.
A significant part of the persecution is attributed to terrorist groups such as Boko Haram, which has been responsible for more than 38,000 deaths over the past 12 years, and the enforcement of Sharia law in 12 northern states.
“Whether the world acknowledges the plight of Nigerian Christians or not, the country has become a burial ground for Christians,” the report declared.
In addition to Nigeria, the ICC’s report also named nine other countries as oppressive towards Christians. These include North Korea, India, Iran, China, Pakistan, Eritrea, Algeria, Indonesia, and Azerbaijan.
The report identifies patterns of religious suppression, forced labour, violence, and harsh legal restrictions among these nations.
The ICC report also identified six entities, including the Allied Democratic Forces and Al-Shabab, as some of the worst oppressors of religious freedom and minorities.
Furthermore, five individual actors, including Kim Jong Un of North Korea and Xi Jinping of China, were singled out as among the worst persecutors globally.
However, despite the severe conditions painted by the report, Nigeria has not been designated by the U.S. Department of State as a ‘Country of Particular Concern’.
The report underscores the need for international attention and action to address the widespread persecution of Christians in Nigeria and other listed nations.
“Nigeria is a country torn by violence. From large, organized terror groups to small, disconnected communal militias, the violence in Nigeria is endemic,” the report concluded.