Religious Freedom : Nigeria On US Blacklist

The information was made public by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

The United States on Monday, December 7, 2020 placed Nigeria on a religious freedom blacklist for the first time. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo designated Nigeria as a "Country of Particular Concern" for religious freedom, the rare inclusion of a fellow democracy in the US effort to shame nations into action. "These annual designations show that when religious freedom is attacked, we will act," Pompeo, an evangelical Christian, wrote on Twitter.

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Nigeria maintains a delicate balance between Muslims and Christians, but church groups have expressed their rising concerns to the United States. US law requires designations for nations that either engage in or tolerate "systematic, ongoing, egregious violations of religious freedom." The nations on the blacklist include, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, which both have historic albeit complicated alliances with the United States, as well as China and Iran, arch-rivals for President Donald Trump's administration. The other nations on the list are Eritrea, Myanmar, North Korea, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan. Sudan, which is transforming after decades of dictatorship, exited the blacklist last year, and Pompeo on Monday lifted the country from a second-tier watch list along with Uzbekistan.

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