We were not consulted by the US over religious freedom list – CAN

We were not consulted before Religious Freedom Delisting of Nigeria - CAN CAN President Reverend Samson Ayiokunle

The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has queried the rationale used by the United States government in arriving at the delisting of Nigeria from the list of ‘Countries of Particular Concern’ (CPC) on the issue of freedom of religion.

CAN expressed its displeasure that the US government did not communicate with the religious body when they were listing Nigeria among the CPC countries on religious freedom, nor did they seek their opinion before removing Nigeria from the list.

CAN President, Rev. Samson Ayokunle said: “Whatever may be the data they used, our prayer is that Nigeria would be a country where no religious group is discriminated against or persecuted and that our government would see to it that all religiously biased policies are discontinued”.

Ayokunle emphasised that Christians had faced and are still facing persecution from ISWAP and the Boko Haram Islamic group.

He said: “These are the people who said their agenda was to wipe away Christianity from Nigeria and to plant Islam as the only religion from the North down to the Atlantic Ocean in the South.

That agenda with the killing of Christians has not stopped till today and Nigerians are living witnesses.

He said CAN has been shouting at the top of its voice that government policies should be religiously neutral enough so that no religious group would be seen as being favoured or discriminated against.

Ayokunle added: “For example, for almost a year now, some of our churches have been finding it difficult with the Ministry of Interior to get new marriage certificate booklets after they had exhausted the ones they were using.

Some had applied for new supply as far back as January this year without any response from the Ministry of Interior till now.

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