The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has said the report by the International Christian Concern (ICC), which ranked Nigeria among the worst persecutors of Christians in its 2023 report, is concerning.
It was reported that the ICC, a non-partisan Christian organisation, included Nigeria among the most dangerous places for Christians in the world in 2023.
The organisation claimed that extremists and militants have been killing Christians in the country and dispossessing them of their lands in the last 20 years.
It said Nigerian leaders have tied the attacks around farmer/herders clashes laced with ethnic conflicts, describing the killings and other atrocities as genocide against Christians.
The ICC also said no fewer than 549 Christians were killed in 55 attacks in Nigeria between March and July 2023. It, therefore, called on the United States of America to add Nigeria back to the list of countries with severe violations of religious freedom.
Reacting to the report, the Secretary of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), North-Central Zone, Pastor Simon Dolly, said the persecution of Christians in Nigeria is an unfortunate circumstance that requires immediate attention.
Speaking with Vanguard on Tuesday evening, Dolly asked church leaders to reconsider their indiscriminate visits to government officials which could divert attention from more pressing issues affecting Christians.
The CAN official also called on church leaders to refocus their efforts on addressing pressing issues such as the ongoing persecution in various religious communities across the nation.
He said: “The persecution of Christians in Nigeria is an unfortunate circumstance that requires immediate attention. Church leaders need to reconsider their indiscriminate visits to government officials as it diverts attention from the pressing issues that affect Christians and the Church.”