News Release | January 27, 2020
Letter with 141 Signatures Outlines Urgent Need, Especially in Light of Execution of Christian Chairman in Nigeria
WASHINGTON—Save the Persecuted Christians (STPC), a bipartisan, multi-faith coalition of nearly 200 civil society, faith and community leaders who advocate for more than 300 million persecuted Christians globally, are delivering today an open letter to President Donald Trump and his administration to continue to urge a much-needed U.S. Special Envoy to Nigeria and the Lake Chad region.
Although STPC has called for the envoy for several months, efforts were heightened last week when the group’s leaders received news that Rev. Lawan Andimi, the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) Chairman for Michika LGA in Adamawa state, Nigeria, was executed. Several outlets reported the murder, including The Guardian and The Christian Post, which quoted STPC leaders including Executive Director Dede Laugesen.
STPC has urged the appointment of an envoy because of extreme violence against Christians there. At least 1,000 Christians were killed in 2019, with more than 5,000 killed since 2015, according to a recent U.K. report. The European Parliament, moreover, has just issued its own report decrying what it describes as “extermination of human beings or ethnic cleansing” in Nigeria noting that: “These attacks have continued with total impunity with perpetrators rarely being held to account whereas Amnesty International report has demonstrated (willful) negligence by the Nigerian security forces concerning deadly attacks against farming communities.”
The letter, signed by 108 NGOs/faith groups and 33 individuals begins, “As you have rightly made the protection of religious freedom a priority for your administration, we write to urge you to act immediately to prevent the further escalation of one of the most ominous threats to this fundamental liberty—the genocidal assault on Christians in Nigeria and the Lake Chad region. You and your predecessors have appointed special envoys to address critical problems in the past. We call upon you to do so in this case in the hope of staving off a currently unfolding disaster for that region, for Africa and for the world.”
“The letter underscores that murderous attacks on Christians and other minorities in Nigeria and neighboring countries have been well-documented—and are growing,” Laugesen said. “Furthermore, the government of Nigeria has done little to stop the violence and bloodletting.”
“The implications of this crisis extend far beyond Nigeria,” the letter continues. “Its potential implosion may result in a gargantuan bloodbath and send millions of refugees to nations near-and-far unprepared to support them. … We consider the stakes in this matter, both for our own country and for our vital interests around the world, to be sufficiently great that you should appoint a prominent and highly respected champion of religious freedom as your Special Envoy to bring a redoubled effort to monitoring the situation on the ground in Nigeria and the Lake Chad region and, even more important, to forge and execute an appropriate U.S. strategy for ameliorating it.”
Besides Laugesen, those who have signed on to the letter include: Former member of Congress Frank Wolf; Frank J. Gaffney, President and CEO of Save the Persecuted Christians; Stephen Enada, Director, International Committee on Nigeria (ICON); Faith McDonnell, Director of Religious Liberty Programs, Institute on Religion & Democracy; Dr. Sayo Ajiboye, President, Redeemer Bible College; Dr. Gloria Puldu, Director, Leah Foundation; Archbishop and Primate, Foley Beach, Anglican Church in North America; Timothy Hall, Senior Fellow, Religious Freedom Institute; Joseph Ndirang, Evangelist, Kingdom Life Christian Mission International; Dr. Barr Innocent Ekwu, President, Association of Gospel Ministers of Nigeria, Inc.; Engr. Daniel Kadzai, National Youth President, Congress of Northern Nigeria Christians; Travis Weber, Vice President for Policy and Government Affairs, Director of the Center for Religious Liberty, Family Research Council; and others.
A sense of the scale of the increasingly genocidal proportions of the anti-Christian violence in Nigeria is evident in the following statistics of deaths inflicted since 2011 in the following north and northeastern Nigerian states:
- Borno 29,951
- Yobe 2,760
- Buchi 480
- Gombe 471
- Adamawa 3,888
- Kano 1,052
- Kaduna 2,776
- Plateau 2,703
Save the Persecuted Christians has a mission 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 attacked, imprisoned and/or exiled 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 Christians endeavors 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 Media@HamiltonStrategies.com