On “Save the Persecuted” Conference

In the 115th Congress, Senator Bob Menendez of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee introduced a Bipartisan resolution calling for a credible, transparent and safe election in Nigeria.

Two days ago, Congresswoman Karen Bass joined Congressman Chris Smith of New Jersey, Sheila Jackson Lee of Texas, Gregory Meeks of New York and Elliot Engels also of New York to Introduce a Bipartisan Resolution encouraging Transparent Elections in Nigeria. This Bill is one of the first Acts of the 116th Congress.

The 380,785 Nigerians residents in the United States of America are grateful. But we are here to state that there is a need for more!

A Congressional Resolution is excellent, but an on the ground ongoing daily moral, protective commitment of the United States is necessary. Mission Africa International is joining many great organizations to ask for a Special Envoy for Nigeria and the Lake Chad Regions.

There is massive documentation of the experience of violence in the Nigerian Nation in the last few years. We thank the Congress and all the good people of America. Some of them are sitting right here; they have worked passionately on seeking an end to the Violence. We thank you.

Violence is an equal opportunity predator. It has impacted both Christians and Muslims. I must, however, stand to say that: for the Nigerian Christians – especially in the North, there is an insidious layer, that makes the experience a Double Jeopardy.

Yesterday, Open Doors released its Annual World Watch List. This list specifically highlighted Nigeria along with Pakistan as the two Nations with the Highest level of Violence targeted against Christians. Open Doors gave a rating of 99.9% to Violence against Nigerian Christians! Think about it, 99.9% of every Christian living in Nigeria have experienced some form of Violence because of their Faith. This fact is especially actual for those living in the Rural, Peri-Urban, low educated and uneducated portions of Northern Nigeria.

Northern Nigerian Christians are largely Voiceless. The governments of the North carries on a constant narrative of there are “no Christian here.” The leadership of the governments of the North denies the Northern Nigerian Christian, It excludes them and allows their exposure to a process that is decimating them. This Estate of Persecution is real and experienced – conservatively by 91 Million People EVERYDAY. These people need more from this Great Nation USA, this Nation that is a Global Force for Good.

Mission Africa International presents this Issues from an extensively researched, evidence-based platform. The Provost of the Oldest (started in 1925) Christian Seminary in the North East of Nigeria, headed our research program. Rev. John Tatti, a precious friend and a co-leader of the Mission Africa International Programs has these to say:

“Persecution in our Region is Systemic and Endemic. It has many faces…”

There is PERSECUTION DESIGNED TO INDUCE TERROR THROUGH DIRECT ATTACKS USING WEAPONS: This particular mode of persecution has caused many people to lose their faith. Persecution has severely and negatively impacted the people.

There is secondarily a carefully crafted process of
ECONOMIC PERSECUTION – Christians are disallowed from holding prominent positions. There is an estimate that in five to ten years, there will be no Christians in senior government positions. There is a strategic commitment to pauperize the Christian Community.

There is thirdly EDUCATIONAL PERSECUTION designed to target a future generation of Christians. There is a researched and documented Islamization Strategy to Exclude Christians from Primary and Secondary Education. This strategy also Suppress every form of formal access to Education by Christian Children. Evidence are showing a systematic exclusion of Christian young people from Higher studies. There is NO SPONSORSHIP for Christian young people for PhDs and Masters level degree.

Another close friend on the other End of the Nation, Rev Isaac Laudarji of the Evangelical Church of Africa in Gusau, Zamfara State (an Alumni of Northwestern University Chicago in Illinois and a former Professor with Seminary Consortium for Pastoral Education – SCUPE, Chicago Illinois) has this to say:

Communities that are predominantly Christians are marginalized in all the Northern States
Multiple (Christian) Villages have been totally abandoned. People have become exiled through fear.
There is no help for Christian Women and Children who have experienced violence, the government systematically excludes Christian Minorities from resources. There are no social amenities, no road to get out to the world, no school, no electricity, denial of access to healthcare, zero access road to the communities.

In the States of Yobe Bornu Christian communities are specifically targeted for eradication.
This situation is also true in the States of Taraba, Plateau, Nasarawa, and Benue, Terrorists violently drive out Christians and take possession of the Villages and use the land in the Villages to herd cattle

In the State of Zamfara the Government has pulled down churches – Catholic Churches, Christian Corper Fellowship, Anglican Church. The government has refused to issue new permits to build churches and parsonages. Christians are not allowed to buy land for the Churches Officially.

Having made all of these evidence driven propositions, the following facts are clear:

A: There is observable neglect and practiced impunity by the leadership when it comes to dealing with Christians in Northern Nigeria.

B: Millions are living their daily lives with both low grade and high-tension terror.

C: The Nigerian Government at both the National, State and local government levels are all complicit in allowing these persecutions.

D: It is our duty as good people of the World to demand that this Persecution must Stop. Justice and FairPlay demand this, a global commitment to fairness requires it.

C: An underdeveloped Northern Nigeria is a threat to all. A fully Islamized Northern Nigeria is a danger to the United States and the rest of the world.

D: The Nigerian government has not shown ANY intention to address this reality.

E: The 380,785 Nigerians residents in the United States of America are asking – in a United voice that the government of the USA should please send a Special Envoy to Nigeria and the Lake Chad Regions.

F: This Envoy will give Voice to the Voiceless, nudge the Federal government of Nigeria in the direction of doing what it is fully capable of doing. This Envoy will discourage Impunity, he or she will be the eyes of the good people of the USA at the grassroots. This envoy is critically needed NOW. Mission Africa International joins with ICON, CANAN, and other reputable Nigerian associations in America to request for a Special Envoy NOW.

I thank you.

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