ICC’s ranking of Nigeria as a severe persecutor of Christians draws reaction from CAN

The International Christian Concern’s (ICC) 2023 report, which identifies Nigeria as one of the most extreme persecutors of Christians, has prompted concern from The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN).

The ICC, a neutral Christian body, recognized Nigeria as one of the harshest environments for Christians worldwide in their 2023 report.

The group asserts that violent extremists and militants have been terrorizing and slaughtering Christians in the region for the past twenty years, forcing them off their lands.

The Nigerian leadership is accused by the organization of condoning these assaults, labeling them as conflicts between farmers and herdsmen with ethnic undertones, and treating the barbaric acts and slaughters as a genocide against Christians.

In the period from March to July 2023, up to 549 Christians were reportedly murdered in Nigeria during 55 separate incidences, as reported by the ICC, prompting them to urge the United States to reintroduce Nigeria into the list of nations accused of severe infringement of religious liberties.

In response to the report, Pastor Simon Dolly, the Secretary of the North-Central Zone of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), acknowledged the problem of Christian persecution in Nigeria as a dire situation that needs immediate resolution.

In a Tuesday night conversation with Vanguard, Dolly encouraged religious leaders to reassess their frequent liaison with government officials, which he believes could potentially overshadow and distract from the crucial issues being faced by Christians.

The CAN representative further urged church leaders to redirect their focus to addressing urgent concerns, such as the continual persecution occurring in different religious groups across the country.

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He stated, “The ongoing persecution of Christians in Nigeria is a urgent situation which requires immediate intervention. Religious leaders should reconsider their frequent interactions with government officials as it sidetracks from crucial matters affecting Christians and the Church.”

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