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Nigeria: Christianity

Question for Foreign and Commonwealth Office

UIN 11544, tabled on 3 February 2020

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what diplomatic support his Department provides to the Nigerian Government to help tackle the persecution of Christians in that country.

Answered on

11 February 2020

The UK is firmly committed to promoting and protecting the right to freedom of religion or belief around the world. We are a strong voice internationally in defence of this fundamental right. We have made clear to the Nigerian authorities, at the highest levels, the importance of protecting civilians, including all ethnic and religious communities, and human rights for all Nigerians.

Increasing insecurity in Nigeria is affecting communities of all faiths. Intercommunal violence across multiple states has had a devastating impact on communities. In North East Nigeria, Boko Haram and Islamic State West Africa seek to undermine the Nigerian constitutional right to freedom of religion by deliberately attacking both Christian and Muslim communities and religious leaders.

We regularly raise our concerns about increasing levels of violence with the Nigerian Government, including most recently by the Prime Minister during his meeting with President Buhari at the UK-Africa Investment Summit on 20 January. We also engage closely with the federal government, state government, international partners and the National Economic Council to help address the root causes of intercommunal violence and to maintain the right to freedom of religion. We continue to push for solutions that meet the needs of all communities affected.