US Senators ask Biden to relist Nigeria on religious violation watch list

US President Joe Biden
US President Joe Biden

United States President, Joe Biden, has been asked by two senators to relist Nigeria as a ‘Country of Particular Concern’ over increasing cases of religious violence in the country.

The letter, written by Marco Rubio and Josh Hawley, was signed by three other Senators; Mike Braun, Tom Cotton and Jim Inhofe.

In the letter to the US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, the Senators urged Biden to immediately redesignate Nigeria as a Country of Particular Concern under the International Religious Freedom Act.

Nigeria was removed from the list last year but cases of religious killings have since soared with some of the most harrowing include the killing of Deborah Yakubu in Sokoto State for alleged blasphemy, the massacre of over 40 Catholics in a church in Owo, Ondo State; amongst others.

The Senators in the letter published on Rubio’s official website and dated June 30, partly read, “As you are well aware, horrific acts of deadly violence have been committed against Nigerian Christians in recent weeks, including the massacre of churchgoers on Pentecost Sunday and the stoning of a Christian college student. Sadly, such violence has become all too familiar for Christians in Africa’s most populous country.

“Last year, however, you inexplicably removed Nigeria’s designation as a Country of Particular Concern despite no demonstrable improvement in the country’s religious freedom conditions. On the contrary, the situation in Nigeria has grown worse. We previously urged you to immediately reverse your misguided decision, and we write today to renew our call.”