17th November, 2021
Nigeria is no more classified by the United States as a country lacking in religious freedom, a statement released today by Secretary of State, Antony Blinken indicated.
“I am designating Burma, the People’s Republic of China, Eritrea, Iran, the DPRK, Pakistan, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Tajikistan, and Turkmenistan as Countries of Particular Concern for having engaged in or tolerated “systematic, ongoing, and egregious violations of religious freedom,” Blinken announced.
“I am also placing Algeria, Comoros, Cuba, and Nicaragua on a Special Watch List for governments that have engaged in or tolerated “severe violations of religious freedom.”
“Finally, I am designating al-Shabab, Boko Haram, Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, the Houthis, ISIS, ISIS-Greater Sahara, ISIS-West Africa, Jamaat Nasr al-Islam wal-Muslimin, and the Taliban as Entities of Particular Concern”.
Each year the Secretary of State has the responsibility to identify governments and non-state actors, who, because of their religious freedom violations, merit designation under the International Religious Freedom Act.
But this year, apart from Boko Haram and ISWAP, there is no mention of Nigeria in the three categories.