The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has expressed deep concern regarding the recent report by the International Christian Concern (ICC), which ranked Nigeria among the worst persecutors of Christians in its 2023 report.
The non-partisan Christian organization, the ICC, identified Nigeria as one of the most dangerous places for Christians worldwide in 2023. According to the organization, extremist groups and militants have been responsible for killing Christians and forcibly dispossessing them of their lands over the past two decades.
The ICC further emphasized that Nigerian authorities have attributed these attacks to conflicts between farmers and herders, intertwined with ethnic disputes, while it characterizes the atrocities as a form of genocide against Christians. The organization reported that between March and July 2023, 549 Christians lost their lives in 55 attacks in Nigeria, prompting a call on the United States to reinstate Nigeria on the list of countries with severe religious freedom violations.
Responding to the report, Pastor Simon Dolly, the Secretary of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) in the North-Central Zone, highlighted the seriousness of the persecution of Christians in Nigeria and the need for immediate attention. He urged church leaders to reconsider their routine visits to government officials, which he believed could divert attention from more pressing issues that affect Christians.
Dolly called on church leaders to refocus their efforts on addressing the ongoing persecution faced by various religious communities across the country, highlighting the urgency of the situation and the need for a collective response from the Christian community.