Nigeria: Christianity

Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office written question – answered on 5th July 2021.

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Photo of Helen Hayes Helen Hayes Labour, Dulwich and West Norwood

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment his Department has made of reports of violence against the Igbo people and other Christian communities in northern Nigeria.

Photo of Helen Hayes Helen Hayes Labour, Dulwich and West Norwood

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what discussions he has had with his Nigerian counterpart on reports of violence perpetrated against the Igbo people in northern Nigeria.

Photo of James Duddridge James Duddridge Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)

We condemn all violence against civilians in Nigeria, irrespective of their religion and ethnicity. In the North East, terrorist groups, including Boko Haram and Islamic State West Africa, continue to cause immense suffering to both Muslim and Christian communities. These groups seek to undermine the right to freedom of religion or belief by indiscriminately attacking those of all faiths who do not subscribe to their extremist views. We are providing a comprehensive package of humanitarian and stabilisation assistance to support communities affected by the conflict.

We are concerned by sharpening social divisions within Nigeria, including between north and south. We encourage reconciliation and constructive dialogue between the many ethnic groups and communities that make up and contribute to the strength and diversity of Nigeria. I visited Nigeria in April and discussed increasing insecurity across the country with the President's Chief of Staff, the Foreign Minister and community leaders. We continue to encourage the Nigerian Government to take urgent action to protect all those at risk of violence, to bring perpetrators to justice and to implement long-term solutions that address the root causes of violence.

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