We continue to urge all Greek Orthodox Christians and all people of good will to continue to pray for persecuted Christians worldwide, that God will comfort the afflicted and illuminate the persecutors with the light of His truth, so that they end their persecution.
“U.S. commission flags countries with the worst religious persecution,” by Onize Ohikere, World, May 5, 2023:
The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom is again asking the State Department to include Nigeria, India, and Afghanistan on its list of worst religious freedom violators. The independent and bipartisan commission released its annual report on Monday, calling on the State Department to take more concrete action against offenders.
Created in 1998 under the International Religious Freedom Act, the commission issues nonbinding recommendations to the administration and Congress. This year’s report recommends that the State Department add Syria and Vietnam to its list of CPCs, or countries of particular concern, due to systemic violations.
Christian communities in Nigeria face repeated attacks from Islamist insurgents and armed Fulani herders in central and northern Nigeria. Last month, central Benue state reported 134 people died within one week in attacks blamed on Fulani groups. State officials also implemented blasphemy laws in the north, the report added.
The commission called for a special envoy to Nigeria and the larger Lake Chad Basin region. “That person could put tremendous pressure on the Nigerian government,” said Commissioner Frank Wolf. “They could use the CPC designation to cut funding—come to Congress and say, ‘withhold funding until the Nigerian government does something.’”
The report noted that India’s Hindu nationalist government enforced laws over the past year that penalized religious conversions, surveilled religious minorities, and destroyed places of worship. On Tuesday, the country’s external affairs ministry spokesperson Arindam Bagchi rejected the commission’s report, characterizing it as an ongoing regurgitation of biased comments.
The commission also urged the State Department to retain its CPC designation for 12 other countries: Burma, China, Cuba, Eritrea, Iran, Nicaragua, North Korea, Pakistan, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Tajikistan, and Turkmenistan….