Washington, DC – In Defense of Christians (IDC) applauds the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) on the release of its 2023 Annual Report. IDC calls on the U.S. Congress and the Biden Administration to heed USCRIF’s policy recommendations.
USCIRF is an independent, bipartisan commission that serves as a watchdog against threats to religious freedom abroad. On May 1, 2023, USCIRF released its 2023 Annual Report documenting International Religious Freedom (IRF) developments observed in 2022. USCIRF’s Annual Report provides recommendations to the U.S. government aimed at improving IRF conditions globally.
In its 2023 Annual Report, USCIRF recommends that the U.S. State Department designate 17 countries as Countries of Particular Concern (CPCs) due to the respective governments’ engagement in, or toleration of, religious freedom violations. Most notably, but not surprisingly, USCIRF’s CPC recommendations include Nigeria. The U.S. State Department removed Nigeria’s CPC designation in 2021 despite widespread and pervasive violence against Christians at the hands of Boko Haram jihadists, Fulani militants, and exacerbated by a devastatingly incompetent and immoral government.
According to IDC executive director Richard Ghazal, “IDC applauds USCIRF’s recommendations, and joins USCIRF with particular urgency in calling on the U.S. State Department to restore Nigeria’s designation as a Country of Particular Concern.” Ghazal continued: “IDC further calls on the Biden Administration to appoint a Special Envoy for Nigeria and the Lake Chad region to monitor the situation on the ground for reporting and close diplomatic engagement.”