Date:                          September 20, 2022


U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom Hearing

Religious Freedom, Violence, and U.S. Policy in Nigeria 

Wednesday, September 28, 2022
10:30 AM – 12:00 PM
Virtual Hearing

Register Here

Please join the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) for a virtual hearing on religious freedom, violence, and U.S. policy in Nigeria.

In June 2022, a USCIRF delegation visited Nigeria to assess religious freedom conditions on the ground. Through this visit and other research, USCIRF confirmed poor religious freedom conditions for many Nigerians. Spreading violence by a plethora of nonstate actors threatens religious freedom in a myriad of ways, including through militant Islamist violence, identity-based violence at the intersection of religion, ethnicity, and geographic heritage, and violence impacting worship for both Muslims and Christians. Poor governance and weak state capacity drive much of this violence. Religious minorities and individuals with dissenting beliefs face particular challenges in exercising their rights to manifest and express their beliefs freely, including the threat of mob violence and detention and prosecution by state authorities.

Religious freedom violations in Nigeria take place within a broader context of human rights abuses and growing atrocity risk. This hearing will explore the drivers of violence impacting religious freedom in Nigeria, how religion serves as both a mobilizer of violence and a capacity for peace in Nigerian society, and how the U.S. government can adjust its policy to address atrocity risk and violence impacting religious freedom in Nigeria.

Opening Remarks

  • Nury Turkel, Chair, USCIRF
  • Abraham Cooper, Vice Chair, USCIRF
  • Oge Onubogu, Director for West Africa, U.S. Institute of Peace
  • Dr. Olusola O. Isola, Senior Lecturer, University of Ibadan, Nigeria
  • James Barnett, Nonresident Fellow, Hudson Institute
This hearing is open to Members of Congress, congressional staff, the public, and the media. Members of the media should register online and can email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for any questions or to schedule an interview. The video recording of the hearing will be posted on the Commission website. For any additional questions, please contact Danielle Ashbahian at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or (202) 702-2778.