Nigeria: Christianity

Foreign and Commonwealth Office written question – answered on 16th March 2020.

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Photo of Baroness Cox Baroness Cox Crossbench

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the statement by the government of Nigeria's Minister of Information and Culture on 27 February that members of Boko Haram and Islamic State West African Province are "targeting Christians and Christian villages" and "now have a deliberate policy of attacking Christians".

Photo of Baroness Sugg Baroness Sugg The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for International Development, The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs

We are appalled by, and have condemned publicly, recent attacks by Boko Haram and Islamic State West Africa (ISWA), including those on Christian communities. The groups' barbaric actions have a devastating effect on communities of all faiths. Boko Haram and ISWA claim to represent Islam, but their interpretation of Islam could not be further from the spirit of the religion.

We echo the views of the Minister of Information and Culture that the targeting of Christians by the terrorist groups is intended to promote religious division and further conflict. The UK is fully committed to supporting Nigeria to combat extremism and to protect the right to religious freedom. We are providing a comprehensive package of support, including £300 million of humanitarian aid to communities in North East Nigeria over five years (2018-2022).

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