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Africa and the Blood of Christians

March 28, 2019 in Economics

By Doug Bandow

Doug Bandow

ABUJA, NIGERIA — Nigeria has the largest economy and
population in Africa. Unfortunately, it is also home to growing
violence against Christians.

The Religious Liberty Partnership recently hosted a conference
of international activists in Abuja to both show solidarity with
Nigeria’s Christians and consider strategies to battle
discrimination and persecution. Stories told by Nigerian
participants highlighted the threat posed by violent extremism in a
country that otherwise seems destined to become a regional and
perhaps world leader.

Unfortunately, Nigeria is not alone. Africa has become an
epicenter of religious persecution. Much of the continent is
inhospitable to those who worship a different god or the same god
differently. Open Doors estimates that 245 million out of 631
million African Christians currently experience high levels of
persecution, up from 215 million last year.

Religious persecution
there is horrific. And America’s military interventions have only
made things worse.

Africa remains far from the center of U.S. foreign policy.
However, it has begun a long march forward, with democracy
expanding and economies growing. That makes the fight against
religious extremism and intolerance ever more important. Otherwise
stability and peace are likely to remain out of reach, including in
Nigeria.

The status of religious freedom varies widely by region and
country. The most obvious difference is between the Arabic north
and largely black Africa.

For instance, the latest report from the Aid to the Church in
Need cites significant violations of religious liberty in Algeria,
Egypt, Eritrea, Kenya, Libya, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Somalia,
Sudan, and Tanzania. The United States Commission on International
Religious Freedom focuses on the worst of the worst, highlighting
the cases of the Central African Republic, Egypt, Eritrea, Nigeria,
and Sudan.

Open Doors also lists the world’s 50 worst persecutors.
They include 14 African countries, home to “extreme” or
“very high” levels of persecution: Algeria, the Central
African Republic, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Libya, Mali,
Mauritania, Morocco, Nigeria, Somalia, Sudan, and Tunisia.

The Pew Research Center separates government restrictions from
social hostility, rating a dozen nations as having high or very
high levels of state control on religion: Algeria, Comoros, Egypt,
Eritrea, Ethiopia, Mauritania, Morocco, Somalia, Sudan, Tanzania,
Tunisia, and Western Sahara. Eleven were on the high and very high
social hostility lists: Algeria, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, the
Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Egypt,
Kenya, Libya, Nigeria, Somalia, and Uganda.

Egypt is on every list. Nigeria, Eritrea, Somalia, and Sudan are
on all but one list. Algeria, the Central African Republic,
Ethiopia, Kenya, Libya, Mauritania, and Tunisia are on multiple
lists.

Nigeria may face the greatest challenge. Christians in some of
its Muslim-majority states are treated like second-class citizens.
Boko Haram and other radical forces, most notably …read more

Source: OP-EDS

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