Bipartisan religious freedom commission “outraged” at US failure to add Nigeria and India to list of countries of particular concern
by Karen Faulkner, Worthy News Correspondent
(Worthy News) – The bipartisan US Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) has expressed “outrage” over the Biden’s administration’s “inexplicable” decision to keep Nigeria and India off the State Department’s list of Countries of Particular Concern (CPC) when it added Cuba and Nicaragua to the list on Friday, Christianity Today reports.
Islamist-led Nigeria ranked number one in the world last year both for the number of Christians murdered and for the number of Christians abducted by Islamic terrorists, according to the International Society for Civil Liberties and Rule of Law and other Christian rights groups. Meanwhile, Hindu nationalist-led India ranks 10 on the US Open Doors World Watch List 2022 of the top 50 countries where Christians are persecuted.
Even the US government itself highlighted systemic abuses and ongoing atrocities in Nigeria and India in lengthy sections of its annual Report on International Religious Freedom published in June. Yet the two exceedingly dangerous countries for Christians and other faith minorities were saved from placement on the CPC.
In a website statement about the State Department’s failure to put Nigeria and India on the list, USCIRF Chair Nury Turkel said: “There is no justification for the State Department’s failure to recognize Nigeria or India as egregious violators of religious freedom, as they each clearly meet the legal standards for designation as CPCs.”
“USCIRF is tremendously disappointed that the Secretary of State did not implement our recommendations and recognize the severity of the religious freedom violations that both USCIRF and the State Department have documented in those countries,” Turkel added. “The State Department’s own reporting includes numerous examples of particularly severe religious freedom violations in Nigeria and India.”
In June, Blinken released the US government’s annual Report on International Religious Freedom. Mandated by the 1998 International Religious Freedom Act (IRFA), the report chronicles violations in every nation of the world, whether by governmental or societal actors, also measuring the local legal frameworks.
The sections on Nigeria and India were particularly lengthy.
“They each clearly meet the legal standards for designation,” stated Nury Turkel, USCIRF chair. “USCIRF is tremendously disappointed that the Secretary of State did not … recognize the severity of the religious freedom violations.”
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