By Mark Yapching
The author of a monthly report on Christian persecution in various countries has ruled Nigeria as one of the least favourable nations for Christians to be in.
Raymond Ibrahim pens the monthly report “Muslim Persecution of Christians”, which has chronicled instances of persecution against Christians in multiple countries since July 2011.
The “Muslim Persecution of Christians” reported is published by former US Ambassador to the UN John R. Bolton’s Gatestone Institute.
Mr Ibrahim told the Washington Times that more than 1,000 churches have been destroyed in a four-year period by the extremist group Boko Haram. In addition, he revealed, the group laid 200 churches to waste from August to October alone as it waged a campaign of terror in the northeastern region of Nigeria.
Given the magnitude of persecution directed against Christians in Nigeria, Mr Ibrahim called it “one of the worst” places for Christianity.
Violence against Christians accompanied the previous election in 2011 of Goodluck Jonathan, a Christian, as Nigerian president when he ran opposite Mohammadu Buhari, who is Muslim.
Hundreds of churches were reported to have been destroyed and Christians were also specifically “targeted and killed” by the mob.
The violence also coincided with the Boko Haram’s “campaign of terror,” human rights lawyer Emmanuel Ogebe told the House Foreign Affairs subcommittee on Africa, global health, global human rights and international organisations on Tuesday.
Mr Ogebe described the approaching February 14 elections in Nigeria as a possible “a Valentine’s Day massacre for the poor Christians in northern Nigeria.”
Candidates for the election include incumbent President Jonathan and Mohammadu Buhari.