The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has stated that religious persecution exists in Nigeria, especially in the North.
Naija News reports that Nigeria is set to be sanctioned if it does not improve its record.
Though a reason for including Nigeria was not given, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo designated the most populous black nation as a “Country of Particular Concern” for religious freedom.
According to US laws, countries that engage in or tolerate systematic, ongoing, egregious violations of religious freedom would be designated.
Reacting to the blacklisting, the federal government denied Nigeria engages in any form of religious freedom violations.
Nigeria’s Minister of Information, Alhaji Lai Mohammed accused the US government of dishonesty.
He acknowledged that Nigeria is a multi-religious country where freedom of religious association is guaranteed by its constitution.
But in a statement on Wednesday by the Special Assistant on Media and Communications to the CAN President, Adebayo Oladeji, the group said it is not happy that the US has placed Nigeria on a religious freedom blacklist because of the implications which include possible sanctions.
CAN, however, admitted that it is encouraged that the world is aware of the happenings in Nigeria, stressing that although there is religious freedom in the country, there are other religious persecutions in most of the states of the federation, especially in the Northern part of the country.
“In many states like Kano and Jigawa, Christians are denied the Certificate of Occupancy and churches are not allowed to purchase lands and they have to go through individuals and even if that is done, they will be denied the Certificate of Occupancy,” he said.
Describing such policy as discriminatory, CAN said mosques are built wherever they desire and no government dares to ask for any document.
The group said: ”In education, Christians are not allowed to study courses like Medicine and Law in some universities in the North and in most federal owned universities in the North, Christians are not allowed to become the Vice-Chancellor even if they are qualified.”
”About 95 percent of those who head security agencies are sharing the same faith with the President, pointing out that some agencies, Christians are replaced with Muslims. This is what we witness every day,” CAN added.
Source: Naija News