Please join the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) for a virtual hearing on the escalation of violence by nonstate actors in Nigeria and its potential to exacerbate deteriorating religious freedom conditions.
Insecurity is spreading in Nigeria, with violent attacks against civilians or security forces occurring daily. Among the complex web of armed actors and motivations, extremists in various parts of the country target individuals and communities based on their religious identity. Christian and Muslim communities fear for their lives, risking death, mutilation, and abduction when they worship in public and celebrate significant religious ceremonies.
Amidst this shocking scale of violence, government inaction is pervasive. Impunity for extremists who target religious communities and houses of worship is systemic across much of the country. The federal government’s approach has failed to curb the violence and protect its citizens’ rights to freedom of religion or belief.
How can the U.S. government encourage and support Nigeria in addressing impunity for extremist violence? Witnesses will review violence inflicted on religious communities in Nigeria, explain where the federal government’s efforts to address these violations are falling short, and explore policy options for the U.S. government to protect religious freedom for Nigerian communities.
• Anurima Bhargava, Chair, USCIRF
• Tony Perkins, Vice Chair, USCIRF
• Hon. Frank Wolf, Former Representative, Virginia's 10th Congressional District, United States House of Representatives
• Mike Jobbins, Vice President, Global Affairs and Partnerships, Search for Common Ground
• Hafsat Maina Muhammed, Founder, Choice for Peace, Gender, and Development
• Anthony Bature, Catholic Priest; Head of Department, Religious Studies, Federal University, Wukari, Taraba State, Nigeria
• Tomás Husted, Analyst in African Affairs, Congressional Research Service