Nigeria: U.S. Adds Nigeria to Religious Freedom Blacklist


The United States has designated Nigeria, China, Burma, Eritrea, Iran, the DPRK, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Tajikistan, and Turkmenistan as countries of ‘particular interest’ for violating religious freedom.

The US Department of States in a statement by the Secretary of State, Mr. Michael Pompeo, said yesterday that it was also placing the Comoros, Cuba, Nicaragua, and Russia on a special watchlist for governments that have engaged in or tolerated “severe violations of religious freedom.”

US explained that religious freedom is an inalienable right, and the bedrock upon which free societies are built and flourish.

It stated: “Today, the United States – a nation founded by those fleeing religious persecution, as the recent Commission on Unalienable Rights report noted – once again took action to defend those who simply want to exercise this essential freedom.

“The United States is designating Burma, China, Eritrea, Iran, Nigeria, the DPRK, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Tajikistan, and Turkmenistan as Countries of Particular Concern under the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998, as amended, for engaging in or tolerating “systematic, ongoing, egregious violations of religious freedom.

“Additionally, we are designating al-Shabaab, al-Qa’ida, Boko Haram, Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, the Houthis, ISIS, ISIS-Greater Sahara, ISIS-West Africa, Jamaat Nasr al-Islam wal Muslimin, and the Taliban as Entities of Particular Concern under the Frank R. Wolf International Religious Freedom Act of 2016.”

The US noted that it has not renewed the prior Entity of Particular Concern designations for al-Qa’ida in the Arabian Peninsula and ISIS-Khorasan, due to the total loss of territory formerly controlled by these terrorist organisations.