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HomeOpinionSeen by the World But Unseen by Anthony Blinken: Nigerian Genocide

Seen by the World But Unseen by Anthony Blinken: Nigerian Genocide

Persecution report shows more Nigerians killed than the rest of the world combined, for 12 out of 13 years, days after US report’s Nigeria omission

By Emanuel Ogebe

Last week, the World Watch Monitor reported that Nigeria again accounted for more Christians killed than the rest of the world combined in 2023 just over a week after the U.S. government totally omitted Nigeria from its own annual religious persecution report

According to World Watch Monitor, “4,998 Christians murdered (in Nigeria). Thirteen Christians a day were killed for their faith in 2023, on average. Nigeria remains the deadliest place to follow Jesus; 82% of killings happened here. Violence only eased during Nigeria’s elections, which accounted for a drop in the number of Christians killed globally compared to 2023.”

Intense violence in Sub-Saharan Africa

Political instability, war and extremism has created a perilous situation for Christians in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Amid lawlessness, jihadist groups like al-Qaeda and Boko Haram have thrived. Weak governments fail to stop them. And militants attack Christian communities and churches with impunity.

Most Christians murdered for their faith in 2023 were killed in Sub-Saharan Africa. Nigeria accounted for nine out of 10 religiously-motivated murders. Christians were also killed in Congo (DRC), Burkina Faso, Cameroon and the Central African Republic (CAR).”

The US just marked Martin Luther King day but I doubt that he would believe that today the US is suppressor of the fact of Christian persecution and that the leader of Hungary and the Israeli UN ambassador, are the ones speaking out about the genocide  I started tracking and advocating with this data in 2010.  

The issue is not just that the US government is in denial but that it has graduated from fact suppression to repression of religious freedom advocates. Historically the State Department has attacked what it calls a “narrative” and wastes millions of taxpayer dollars in Nigeria, not helping victims of persecution but training the media not to report religious persecution.

In December 2022, security men at a State Dept event assaulted and evicted a Nigerian American lawyer — for wearing a ‘Free Leah’ T-shirt, honoring a famous teenage Christian hostage of Boko Haram terrorists, to the U.S. institute of Peace. Ironically, King’s words have come true in America  – ‘injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.’ US ultimately joined Gen. Buhari in repressing activists also evicting Dede Laugessen of Save Persecuted Christians.

The mysterious disappearance of Nigeria from the US International Religious Freedom list after 20 years is not the only erasure of current history by the US government. The US Global Terrorism Index, which previously ranked the Fulani Militia as the 4th deadliest terrorists in the world after Boko Haram and ISIS, has since muted reports on Fulani terrorism.

Recently I met a U.S. diplomat who also served in Nigeria when I went there to  work for the US government 20 years ago as Boko Haram launched its first Christmas attack. He, like me, raised concerns with our respective agencies and they were all shoved aside. See where we are now.

Since my last mission to Nigeria during which Christmas massacres in Plateau State killed 200 Christians, the following also occurred:

-Ebonyi State:  3 killed in Christmas church attack
-Yobe State: 13 killed church attack
– Zamfara State: 32 killed rural massacres
-Kaduna State: 17 killed in Kauru LG and 28 killed in Kajuru LG rural massacres
-Taraba State: several kidnapped

Sadly for me, these deaths are not just statistics. Pastor Luka Ayuba  killed in Yobe state on the day the US released its non-report is related to a former staff of my family. He’d just become a grandfather weeks before he was murdered and his church was set ablaze.

But God’s own country, the United States, founded by Christians fleeing British persecution has blinded its eyes to Christians facing the deadliest persecution in generations.

The World Watch Monitor has run its religious freedom list longer than the State Department’s 22+ years IRF List. It is still far truer than the USA’s despite not being as resourced. Kudos to WWM for being a beacon of truth for the persecuted as America betrays the courage and conviction of its first founders.

Emmanuel Ogebe, Esq, is a prominent international human rights lawyer in Washington exiled to America after abduction and torture by Nigerian Dictator Abacha in the ‘90s.

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