Date: March 23, 2020
In a recently-released article titled "Stop the Christian Genocide in Nigeria," staunch religious freedom advocates, former Congressman Frank Wolf and In Defense of Christians president Toufic Baaklini, collaborate to set forth a compelling and undeniable argument: the persecution of Christians in Nigeria is a genocide. Perhaps one of the most heart-wrenching and disturbing statistics they provide is that "Boko Haram has killed more than 27,000 civilians in Nigeria. This is greater than the amount of civilians ISIS killed in Iraq and Syria combined."
As the Global Terrorism Index reports, Nigeria is the third most dangerous nation, Open Doors classifies Nigeria as the 12th most dangerous nation for Christians specifically, and USCIRF designates Nigeria as a Country of Particular Concern in regards to religious persecution, it is impossible to continue to overlook what has steadily become a genocide of Christians in Nigeria.
Past burned down home in Northeastern Nigeria.
Source: Jubilee Campaign
"'Boko Haram has killed more than 27,000 civilians in Nigeria...'"
The 2019 Ministerial to Promote International Religious Freedom side-event highlighted the "Genocide Loading" in Nigeria. The situation has not improved but engagement and awareness about the issue is increasing.
Boko Haram unarguably remains one of the largest threats to Nigerian Christians. Murder, kidnapping and abduction, coerced marriages and religious conversions, as well as sexual and physical assault constitute the repertoire of their egregious actions. But Boko Haram is not carrying out this genocide alone. Fulani militants have embarked on a campaign to kill Christian farmers and demolish entire Christian communities over religious differences and contested territorial claims. But, as Greg Stanton of Genocide Watch argues, "what is mistaken as a conflict between herders and farmers is actually 'a genocidal war between ethnic groups that previously co-existed, ignited by Islamic extremists with modern weapons.'"
To conclude their discussion, former congressman Frank Wolf and Mr. Toufic Baaklini make some final requests:
- That Nigeria works to combat smuggled weapon imports that embolden Islamic militant groups
- That the government of Nigeria, in cooperation with other nations, takes concrete steps to eliminate such genocide
- That we cannot forget those that remain in the shackles of religious persecution in Nigeria, such as our dedicated and courageous Christian sister Leah Sharibu, who remains in Boko Haram captivity.
"'...a genocidal war between ethnic groups that previously co-existed...'"
Update on Mary
IRAN: 28 February 2020
We would also like to turn your attention to another state experiencing religious persecution, Iran.
In our report last month we asked for prayer for Mary Mohammadi a Christian convert and religious freedom advocate. It has since been confirmed by numerous sources, including Human Rights Activists news Agency, Middle East Concern and International Christian Concern, that Iranian Christian convert Mary Mohammadi has been released from Qarchak Prison on bail as of February 26. Thank you for your prayers.
While we take this time to give thanks to the Lord that he has released Mary from the chains of persecution, we also continue to share her story of strength when faced with torture. In addition to being denied food upon her initial arrest, Iranian authorities exposed her to extreme temperatures, beat her and subjected her to intrusive body searches.
I court hearing scheduled for March 2, 2020 has been postponed.
Please pray for Mary Mohammadi:
- That she will be unequivocally released
- That her perpetrators will abandon their malicious ways and come to the Lord.
- For her emotional and physical healing