Persecution of Nigerian Christians driven by Islamism, not climate

Violent attacks on Christians in Nigeria is overwhelmingly due to militant Islamic ideology, rather than factors such as climate change, according to a leading human rights activist.

Dr David Landrum, Open Doors UK & Ireland, says a recent report from the Observatory of Religious Freedom in Africa (ORFA) reveals the number of Christians killed was almost ten times higher than the number of Muslims killed in jihadism-related violence per capita between Oct 2019 and Sept 2020.

The report also confirms that violence against moderate Muslims is overwhelmingly from jihadist groups. The findings fit with the 2020 report by the All-Party Parliamentary Group for International Freedom of Religion or Belief: ‘Nigeria – Unfolding Genocide?’ – which as the title suggests identifies the murders, rapes and abductions as systematic, deliberate, and at source – jihadist.

Despite this, he says, the UK government “continues to prefer to attribute it to a complex range of issues – which then justifies inaction. These issues include politics, criminality, banditry, farming disputes, poverty or even climate change”.