Nigeria: Christian Genocide

August 08, 2021

There is a veritable genocide against Christians taking place in Nigeria. The International Society for Civil Liberties and the Rule of Law reports that in the past six months more than 3,462 Nigerian Christians have been killed by radical Muslims.

The growing number of churches threatened, destroyed, and burned by Muslim groups, estimated at 300 since the beginning of the year, is also telling. The Christian genocide is thus established, despite the Nigerian media which identifies Muslims as victims of Islamophobia and attacks throughout the West.

The published figures are alarming, because in the first half of 2021 there were almost as many murders as in the whole of 2020, during which 3,530 Christians were killed in Nigeria at the hands of Islam, the so-called “religion of peace.”

The highest figure recorded since 2010, which reported 5,000 Christians killed in 2014 in attacks by Boko Haram and other jihadist groups, could unfortunately be exceeded this year.

Persecution Covered Up by the Authorities

Almost half of Nigerians are Christians: 95.4 million people out of a population of 206.2 million.

The difference in the treatment of residents depending on where they live is notable. In the South, Christians enjoy freedom of worship, while in the North where Sharia is applied, Christians suffer severe persecution and are considered second-class citizens.

In the face of this violence, the government minimizes acts of persecution and barbaric acts. They do not categorize these act as the persecution of Christians in Nigeria but rather as “conflicts between herders and farmers rather than a conflict religiously motivated by acts of terror.”

The Nigerian government is openly involved in an anti-Christian policy that has resulted in countless killings and the destruction of Christian communities across the country.

This policy runs counter to the Nigerian Constitution, which enshrines equal treatment regardless of the ethnicity and religion of its citizens. The Islamization of Nigerian territory through the adoption of Sharia law in 12 northern states is not helping the situation and is encouraging this increase in violence.

The term “Islam” or “Islamic” is present twenty-eight times in the Constitution of the country, making reference to various rights conferred by Sharia. By contrast, the word “Christian” is never mentioned. It seems that this state of affairs is echoed in the denial of the rights of Christians by the Nigerian government.

This situation is contrary to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights signed by Nigeria on July 29, 1993. Article 27 states3 that “in States where there are ethnic, religious, or linguistic minorities, persons belonging to these minorities shall not be deprived of the right to have, in common with the other members of their group, their own cultural life, to profess and practice their own religion.”

However, Christian religious instruction is no longer permitted in some northern provinces. In contrast, Islamic religion teachers are employed by the state and paid from public funds, which is also contrary to both the Covenant and the Nigerian Constitution.

These public funds are also used in the construction of mosques, while Christians on their part face refusal after refusal in requests to buy land on which they could build churches.