In a statement released by United States Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, Nigeria has been excluded from the list of Religious Violators.
Russia, China and eight other countries has been black listed by US.
This was made known as “Countries of particular Concern for having engaged in or tolerated systematic ongoing and egregious violations of religious freedom.
Antony Blinken statement was captioned, ‘Religious Freedom Designations’, Algeria, Comorous, Cuba and Nicaragua have been placed on a special Watch List for governments that have tolerated “Severe violations of religious freedom.”
United States also designated Al-Shabab, Boko Haram, Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, the Houthis, ISIS, ISIS-Greater Sahara, ISIS-West Africa, Jamaat Base al-Islam Wal-Muslimin and the Taliban as Entities of Particular Concern.
The United States Secretary of State stated thus: “The United States will not waiver in its commitment to advocate for freedom of religion or belief for all and in every country.
“In far too many places around the world, we continue to see governments harass, arrest, threaten, jail, and kill individuals simply for seeking to live their lives in accordance with their beliefs.
“This Administration is committed to supporting every individual’s right to freedom of religion or belief, including by confronting and combating violators and abusers of this human right”.
While furthering his statement, he said “the challenges to religious freedom in the world today are structural, systemic, and deeply entrenched. They exist in every country. They demand sustained global commitment from all who are unwilling to accept hatred, intolerance, and persecution as the status quo. They require the international community’s urgent attention.
“We will continue to press all governments to remedy shortcomings in their laws and practices and to promote accountability for those responsible for abuses.
“The United States remains committed to working with governments, civil society organizations, and members of religious communities to advance religious freedom around the world and address the plight of individuals and communities facing abuse, harassment, and discrimination on account of what they believe, or what they do not believe”.
The US Secretary of State is expected to visit Nigeria.