RELEASE – Boko Haram Attack Proves International Groups Should Demand More of Nigerian Leader, STPC Says

Save the Persecuted Christians | July 8, 2020

Save the Persecuted Christians: Injustice, Vulnerability, Lack of Cooperation Are Intolerable Conditions for UN and Other Relief Workers

WASHINGTON—Boko Haram insurgents in Nigeria’s Borno State shot at a UN helicopter bringing humanitarian aid to local residents, killing two people, including a 5-year-old child, and sparking outrage from human rights advocates who say Nigeria’s leaders are responding with too little too late.

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari described the attack as an act of desperation and as evidence the terrorist group is “clearly on the back foot.”

But Buhari’s promise that the terrorists will face “severe consequences” is unpersuasive, considering his claim last year that Boko Haram was “substantially defeated,” according to Dede Laugesen, executive director of Save the Persecuted Christians (STPC), which advocates on behalf of persecuted Christians worldwide.

“President Muhammadu Buhari’s claim of victory over Boko Haram last year is misleading and patently false,” Laugesen said.

STPC has supported Christians and other Nigerians by arguing for increased defenses against the jihadi terrorists and calling for a U.S. presidential envoy for Nigeria and the Lake Chad region. Although Buhari condemned the attack, his government is leaving citizens and international relief workers vulnerable.

Laugesen says international groups should require more cooperation from Buhari, who has failed to bring killers and kidnappers to justice.

“Nigeria needs more UN involvement, not less,” Laugesen said. “The international community must pressure Buhari to work with them to end the daily bloodshed including the abduction and murder of humanitarian workers for multiple aid organizations in the past year.”

Since 2011, the Boko Haram terrorists have killed over 37,500 people in Nigeria alone. The U.S. State Department’s office of International Religious Freedom last year placed Nigeria on a special watch list of countries that have engaged in or tolerated “severe violations of religious freedom.” This year, the U.S. is considering Nigeria for designation as a country of particular concern, the most severe level, which brings with it a host of options to hold the country and the Buhari regime accountable for failing to curb the religious violence that targets their Christian citizens and others who don’t agree with the ideology of Boko Haram and other terrorists like Fulani militant herdsmen. STPC supports the designation of Nigeria as a country of particular concern.

The mission of Save the Persecuted Christians is to save lives and save souls by disseminating actionable information about the magnitude of the persecution taking place globally and by mobilizing concerned Americans for the purpose of disincentivizing further attacks on those who follow Jesus.

With so much of the world’s Christian population being imprisoned and/or harassed for their beliefs, such as Christians in Nigeria, the need has never been greater for the sort of grassroots campaign STPC’s SaveUs Movement is working to foster. Its efforts are modeled after a miraculously successful one that helped free another population suffering from heavy persecution—Soviet Jews—by penalizing those in the Kremlin responsible for such repression. Through this movement, Save the Persecuted Christiansendeavors to provide American policymakers with the popular support they need to effect real change worldwide and alleviate systemically the suffering being experienced by so many of those following Christ.

To interview a Save the Persecuted Christians representative, contact