United States: A Selective Memory

December 13, 2021
Source: fsspx.news

Eager to restore, on the African continent, a blazon tarnished by numerous missteps, the United States has just taken Nigeria off the black list of States where religious freedom is particularly threatened, a country plagued by Islamist terrorism which regularly targets Christians.

The latest edition of the blacklist of countries “particularly worrying” in terms of religious freedom, which the first world power updates every year contained a surprise.

On November 17, 2021, Nigeria disappeared from the list of countries singled out “for having perpetrated or tolerated gross, systematic, and persistent violations of religious freedom.” Has the situation of Christians really improved in this African country?

Not really, if we listen to first-hand testimonies: thus, Msgr. Wilfred Anagbe, Catholic Bishop of Makurdi , in central Nigeria, speaking on the sidelines of a conference organized by Aid to the Church in Distress (ACD), on October 9, 2021, denounced ethnic and religious cleansing:

“The reality that we are living is not that of a war, but that of a genocide, the Fulanis [Fulani nomadic shepherds, won over to the cause of jihad for various reasons] carry out raids on Christian farmers.”

At the very end of 2020, in its Report on Religious Freedom in the World, ACD advanced the figure of 2,200 Christians killed in one year, including 1,300 by Fulani jihadists alone, and several hundred by other Islamist organizations who are terrorizing the north area of the region.

Nigeria’s absence stunned observers: “We urge the United States government to assist us by letting us know what has changed in the interim between when our country was placed on the list of ‘countries of particular concern’ and today,” the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) wrote in a press release dated November 21.

The Association expressed its astonishment. “The American government did not contact us when it put Nigeria on the list of countries of particular concern for religious freedom, and did not ask our advice before removing Nigeria from this list,” says Samson Ayokunle, CAN president.

“If they had, we could have compared the statistics then and now on the issue of religious freedom in Nigeria,” he adds. In the eyes of CAN, in Africa's most populous country, Christians have been and still are persecuted by the Islamic State in West Africa (Iswap) and the jihadist group Boko Haram.

“These people said their goal was to wipe out Christianity in Nigeria and make Islam the only religion from the border in the north to the Atlantic Ocean in the south; this program, along with the murder of Christians, has not ceased to this day and Nigerians are living witnesses to it,” concludes Samson Ayokunle.

In fact, the Biden administration is sacrificing Christians on the altar of American interests in the African continent, because there is an urgent need, given the decline in the influence of the United States in the region, unlike China and Russia, whose influence is constantly increasing.

Indeed, recent failures have not helped to restore the image of America: pressure on the Sudanese government to bring former head of state Omar Al-Bashir before the International Criminal Court or sympathies displayed toward the Tigrayan rebels in the Ethiopian conflict.

These are all missteps that need to be corrected by securing the favor of sub-Saharan Africa's largest economy.

While they have just removed Nigeria from their blacklist of states in which religious freedom is being undermined, the United States has instead added Vladimir Putin’s Russia.