US Adds Nigeria to Religious Freedom Blacklist
The United States on Monday placed Nigeria on a religious freedom blacklist, paving the way for potential
sanctions if it does not improve its record.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the United States designated Nigeria which is a US ally as a “Country of
Particular Concern” under the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998 for religious freedom, for engaging
”systematic, ongoing, egregious violations of religious freedom.”
Pompeo did not elaborate on the reasons for including Nigeria, which has a delicate balance between Muslims
U.S. law requires such designations for nations that either engage in or tolerate “systematic, ongoing,
egregious violations of religious freedom.”
Pompeo notably did not include India, which has a growing relationship with Washington, and was infuriated by
a recommendation from the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom to include the secular but
Hindu-majority nation over what it called a sharp downward turn under Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Other nations on the blacklist are Eritrea, Myanmar, North Korea, Tajikistan, and Turkmenistan.