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FG assures Nigerians’ religious freedom after US rating

By News Desk

The Federal Government has reiterated commitment on guaranteeing freedom of religion of every Nigerians irrespective of ethnic and tribes, saying leaders across all tiers of government would not fail in upholding constitutional provision and rights of the citizens.

The apex government noted that the country jealously protects religious freedom as enshrined in the country’s constitution and takes seriously any infringements in that regard.

The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, who hailed the United States for removing Nigeria from its list of countries with religious freedom concerns, described the decision fair and just.

Through a statement issued in Paris, France, on Thursday, the minister reiterated Nigeria’s earlier stance when it was put on the list in December 2020, that it does not engage in religious freedom violation or have a policy of religious persecution.

”We will continue to ensure that every Nigerian has the freedom to practice his or her own chosen religion or belief without hindrance,” the minister said. He commended religious leaders in the country who have been working to ensure religious harmony.

It would be recalled that the United States Secretary of State, Anthony Blinken, yesterday announced the removal of Nigeria from the list of countries that limit religious freedoms around the world.

Blinken, said that the United States would not waiver in its commitment to advocate for freedom of religion or belief for all and in every country after releasing list of countries designated in the 2021 list for religious violations which Nigeria was missing from.

According to him, 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.

He added that President Joe Biden-led administration was 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.

“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,” Blinken said in a statement.

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