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05 Feb 2020 | 08:46 AM UTC

Nigeria: Nationwide religious demonstrations reported February 2

Christians march throughout country to protest persecution February 2; further marches possible in the near future

culture
security
transportation
NGA

Event

Nigerian Christians marched in 28 of Nigeria's 36 states on Sunday, February 2, to protest the beheading of a local church leader in Adamawa state in late January and growing persecution of the Christian community. Thousands participated in the demonstrations, notably in the states of Abuja, Kogi, Ekiti, Lagos, Osun, Benue, Ondo, and Kaduna. Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari's lack of decisive action against Islamist militants was also criticized.

Related marches remain possible across Nigeria in the near future.

Context

According to the 2020 World Watch List, Nigeria is now the second-most violent country for Christians.

Humanitarian Aid Relief Trust (HART) released a statement in December reporting that some 1,000 Nigerian Christians have been killed and hundreds abducted over the course of 2019.

Advice

Individuals in the Nigeria are advised to avoid all protests due to the risk of violence, and adhere to any instructions issued by local authorities.

The security environment in Nigeria is complex and is particularly challenging in the northeast and extreme south of the country due to the presence of armed groups, high crime rates, and the risk of kidnapping. Professional security advice and support should be sought prior to travel to such areas.