US Secretary of States, Antony Blinken

The United States on Wednesday excluded Nigeria from its list of religious violators.

This disclosure is contained in a statement titled, ‘Religious Freedom Designations,‘ issued on Wednesday by the US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, who is currently on an official visit to Kenya, Nigeria and Senegal.

Nigeria, which was placed on the list of religious violators in 2020 by the US for engaging and tolerating the severe violation of religious freedom, was missing in the new list of countries designated in 2021 for religious violations.

The communique listed the nations as “Countries of Particular Concern for having engaged in or tolerated ‘systematic, ongoing, and egregious violations of religious freedom.”

Blinken’s statement also disclosed that Algeria, Comoros, Cuba, and Nicaragua have all been placed on a Special Watch List for governments that have engaged in or tolerated “severe violations of religious freedom.”

The US also designated Al-Shabab, Boko Haram, Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, the Houthis, ISIS, ISIS-Greater Sahara, ISIS-West Africa, Jamaat Nasr al-Islam wal-Muslimin, and the Taliban as Entities of Particular Concern.

The US Secretary of State, in his statement, said, “The United States will not waiver in its commitment to advocate for freedom of religion or belief for all and in every country.

“In far too many places around the world, we continue to see governments harass, arrest, threaten, jail, and kill individuals simply for seeking to live their lives in accordance with their beliefs.

“This Administration is committed to supporting every individual’s right to freedom of religion or belief, including by confronting and combating violators and abusers of this human right”.