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Anthony Blinken

FG Speaks On Removal Of Nigeria From US Religious Violators’ List

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The Nigerian Government has commended the United States Government for removing Nigeria from its list of countries that trample religious freedom.

Naija News reports that the US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, in a statement on Wednesday, announced Nigeria’s removal from the list of countries that violate religious freedom.

The statement had said: “Each year the Secretary of State has the responsibility to identify governments and non-state actors, who, because of their religious freedom violations, merit designation under the International Religious Freedom Act.

“I am designating Burma, the People’s Republic of China, Eritrea, Iran, the DPRK, Pakistan, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Tajikistan, and Turkmenistan as Countries of Particular Concern for having engaged in or tolerated “systematic, ongoing, and egregious violations of religious freedom.

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“I am also placing Algeria, Comoros, Cuba, and Nicaragua on a Special Watch List for governments that have engaged in or tolerated “severe violations of religious freedom.”

Recall that the US had in 2020 placed Nigeria and six other countries on its special watch list of states that had engaged in or tolerated the severe violation of religious freedom.

But in a statement released on Thursday by the Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed, the Nigerian government applauded its US counterpart for correcting its earlier mistake.

Mohammed said the removal of Nigeria from the list of religious freedom violators is long overdue, saying that the West African country does not engage in any religious freedom violation.

The minister added that Nigeria does not have a policy of religious persecution, appreciating religious leaders who have been working to ensure religious harmony.

He said Nigeria jealously protects religious freedom as enshrined in the country’s constitution and takes seriously any infringements in that regard.

Mohammed added that the  Nigerian government will continue to ensure that every Nigerian has the freedom to practise his or her own chosen religion or belief without hindrance.

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