Nigeria – important letter to Secretary of State Blinken spearheaded by former VP Mike Pence and signed by over 20 other prominent Americans calling for Nigeria to be listed as a country of particular concern following the massacre of 200 Nigerians who were celebrating Christmas.

Jan 21, 2024 | News

Advancing American Freedom led a coalition letter with over 20 cosigners to Secretary Blinken and the State Department calling on them to list Nigeria as a country of particular concern for severe violations of religious freedom after 200 Nigerian Christians were martyred.

“The fact that this slaughter happened over two weeks ago without action from the State Department is unconscionable,” said AAF Executive Director Paul Teller. “Either the Biden administration takes the massacre of innocents seriously, or it does not. Christians in Nigeria are under continuous attack, and the latest slaughter demands a response from the United States, and when we do not respond, evil expands.”

Individuals, with titles and organizations for identification purposes only, signing on to the letter:

  • Paul Teller, Executive Director, Advancing American Freedom
  • Tony Perkins, Former Chair, USCIRF
  • Frank Wolf, Former Member of Congress
  • Sam Brownback, Ambassador, The Brownback Group
  • Kristen Waggoner, President and CEO, Alliance Defending Freedom/ ADF International
  • Brent Bozell, Founder and President, Media Research Center
  • Rick Santorum
  • Andrea Picciotti-Bayer, Director, Conscience Project
  • William Murray, President, Religious Freedom Coalition
  • Maureen Blum, Executive Director, Catholics Count
  • Kristen A. Ullman, President, Eagle Forum
  • Nina Shea, Director Center for Religious Freedom, Hudson Institute
  • McKenna Wendt, Advocacy Manager, International Christian Concern
  • Tom McClusky, Director of Government Affairs, CatholicVote
  • Richard Perle, Former Assistant Secretary, Department of Defense
  • Arielle Del Turco, Director of the Center for Religious Liberty, Family Research Council
  • Dick Patten, President, American Business Defense Council
  • Sarah E. Makin, Former Senior Director, National Security Council
  • Brian Burch, President, CatholicVote
  • Larry Cirignano, Children First Foundation
  • Jane Adolphe, Executive Director, International Catholic Jurists Forum
  • J. Michael Waller, Senior Strategy Analyst, Center for Security Policy
  • Greg Twedd, Founding Pastor, Ignition633 Ministries
  • Evans Nnamdi Nwankwo, President & CEO, Megen Construction Company
  • The Honorable George K Rasley Jr, Managing Editor,
  • Ben Nwankwo, President, A.W.A Organization

January 15, 2024
The Honorable Antony Blinken
U.S. Department of State
2201 C Street NW
Washington, D.C. 20520

Secretary Blinken:
Your refusal to designate Nigeria as a Country of Particular Concern (“CPC”) for severe violations
of religious freedom is completely unconscionable.
Less than two weeks ago, almost 200 Nigerian Christians became martyrs while celebrating
Christmas. According to one account, these Christians were “killed for sport.”

Just weeks earlier,
the Christian Association of Nigeria received a letter threatening them against celebrating

If this is not religious persecution, then what is?
The International Society for Civil Liberties and Rule of Law (Intersociety), a Nigeria-based nonprofit, has found that more than 52,000 Christians have been killed and more than 14 million
Christians have been forced to flee Nigeria since 2009. Over that same period, Intersociety also
found that 18,000 churches and 2,200 schools have been attacked.3
Again – if this is not religious persecution, then what is?
The international religious freedom community stands outraged at your refusal to hold these acts
of evil to account. Within hours of your announcement, the United States Commission on
International Religious Freedom (“USCIRF”) called for a congressional hearing, and international
religious freedom advocates publicly criticized your decision.4567
While the Trump-Pence Administration designated Nigeria as a CPC, your administration has
reversed this designation without explanation as to why the slaughter of Nigerian Christians is not
“of Particular Concern” to the U.S. Department of State.

The eyes of the world look to the United States as a beacon of hope and freedom. Religious
freedom is grounded in the American founding, enshrined in the Bill of Rights, and quintessential
to what it means to be an American. When the United States stands silent as evil runs amok, the
world takes notice.
We request that you immediately reverse course and re-designate Nigeria as a CPC.

1 Paul Tilsley, “World looks other way as Christians ‘killed for sport by jihadists’ in Nigeria,’” Fox News, Published December 30, 2023,
2 “Christmas Massacre in Nigeria,” Release International, Published December 30, 2023,
3 “5,068 Citizens Massacred for Being Christians in Nigeria in 2022,” Intersociety, Accessed January 5, 2024,
4 “USCIRF Calls for Congressional Hearing After State Department Fails to Designate Nigeria,” USCIRF, Published January 4, 2024,
5 Sean Nelson (@Sean_ADFIntl), “Once again, Nigeria not even mentioned on the @StateDept religious freedom violators list…,” Twitter,
January 4, 2024,
6 Arielle Del Turco (@arielledelturco), “It is reprehensible that the State Department refused to name Nigeria as a Country of Particular
Concern…,” January 4, 2024,
7 McKenna Wendt (@mckenna_wendt), “Speechless that the plight of Christians in Nigeria has been overlooked yet again…,” January 4, 2024,


Lord David Alton

For 18 years David Alton was a Member of the House of Commons and today he is an Independent Crossbench Life Peer in the UK House of Lords.

Social Media

Subscribe to Blog

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Site Search

Recent Posts

Share This