Christian Persecution in Nigeria

Benjamin Watson (former NFL Star) and John Stonestreet (Colson Center) to Speak Out Against Christian Persecution in Nigeria

October 27th, NFL Star Benjamin Watson, John Stonestreet, and other special guests will condemn the persecution and slaughter of Christians in Nigeria at a virtual town-hall event.

Recent protests in Nigeria have focused on the police brutality of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS). Heavy-handed police and special units have been accused of corruption, abuse and killings. In addition to SARS, there have been over 90,000 innocent lives – mainly women and children – who have been lost as a result of terrorist attacks throughout Nigeria since 2000, including 60,000 killed by Boko Haram and Fulani Militants in the country’s Middle Belt region. Meanwhile, the Nigerian government has done little – if anything – to stop the killings.

Watson, who co-founded a nonprofit dedicated to impacting the lives of those in need with his wife in 2008, has spoken out against Nigeria’s silent slaughter in the past, telling his vast social media following, “We cannot continue to be silent” and imploring President Trump to appoint a special envoy to Nigeria and the Lake Chad region.

The event will be open to the public with time for questions. Details are as follows:

WHO:          

  • Benjamin Watson – former New England Patriot
  • John Stonestreet – President, The Colson Center

WHEN:         

Tuesday, October 27 at 2:00 PM. Eastern Time (US)

WHERE:      

 

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Urgent Need for US Special Envoy to Nigeria – New Book & Survey Reinforce Support

WASHINGTON, D.C., October 16, 2020 – The urgent need for the United States to send a special envoy to Nigeria and the Lake Chad region to address ongoing persecution is highlighted in a new book written by Reverend Johnnie Moore and Rabbi Abraham Cooper, the International Committee on Nigeria (ICON) announced today. The book titled, “The Next Jihad,” was released just days after ICON announced the results of a North Carolina survey, which found the overwhelming majority of voters are aware of persecution in Nigeria and two-thirds are more likely to vote for President Trump if he sends a special envoy to Nigeria to address the issue.

“Reverend Moore and Rabbi Cooper have been steadfast in their efforts to serve as a voice for the voiceless, and encourage others to do the same, as the Nigerian people continue to suffer,” said Stephen Enada, co-founder of ICON. “This book highlights the horrors Christian believers face in Nigeria on a daily basis based on firsthand accounts – indeed, there is a great darkness in the region that must be addressed. We have seen in our own lifetime the dangers of waiting too long to act. We cannot make that mistake here. There is far too much at stake.”

“Given the gravity of what’s happening in Nigeria – with innocent men, women, and children being systematically slaughtered by the hundreds, sometimes on a daily basis, I am not surprised there is overwhelming support for U.S. action,” said Kyle Abts, co-founder of ICON. “The survey confirms that defending religious freedom here and abroad continues to be a key issue for voters. We strongly urge the Trump Administration to take note, take action, and send a special envoy to Nigeria before things get any worse.”

The statewide survey, by Mitchell Research & Communications, Inc., was conducted throughout the battleground state of North Carolina from September 22-25, 2020 on behalf of ICON. It was conducted online among a cross-section of 600 adults age 18 and over. In the survey, 45.2% of respondents were voting for Donald Trump, 44.5% for Joe Biden, and 6% were undecided.

In December, the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom recommended designating Nigeria a Country of Particular Concern, effectively calling out the government for tolerating human rights and religious freedom violations, sending a strong signal that our government will not stand for these abuses. ICON and others close to the issue, including members of Congress and advocacy groups, say there is more to be done. Specifically, they’re asking President Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to appoint a special envoy to Nigeria and the Lake Chad region.

A special envoy is a senior official appointed by the U.S. Department of State to deal with a specific set of issues. In this case, the specific charge would be to oversee discussions with the Nigerian government to restore peace to the country. With the full backing of the U.S. government, the special envoy would have the power to hold perpetrators of religious violence and other crimes accountable.

“Nearly 100,000 Nigerians have been brutally killed since 2000 as their own government turns a blind eye,” Enada explained. “We cannot allow this to continue. Without intervention, I am confident Nigeria is headed down a road similar to Yugoslavia, Rwanda, Darfur, and Myanmar. This is one of the most consequential issues we face. It’s critical that we act now.”

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ICON to Host Benjamin Watson & Guests 

NFL Star Benjamin Watson to Speak Out Against

Religious Persecution, Slaughter in Nigeria

 

On September 16th, NFL Star Benjamin Watson, Rep. Chris Smith, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, Rep. Frank Wolf and John Stonestreet, will condemn the religious persecution and slaughter taking place in Nigeria at an awareness event. More than 90,000 innocent lives – mainly women and children – have been lost as a result of terrorist attacks throughout Nigeria since 2000, including 60,000 killed by Boko Haram and Fulani Militants in the country’s Middle Belt region. Meanwhile, the Nigerian government has done little – if anything – to stop the killings.

Watson, who co-founded a nonprofit dedicated to impacting the lives of those in need with his wife in 2008, has spoken out against Nigeria’s silent slaughter in the past, telling his vast social media following, “We cannot continue to be silent” and imploring President Trump to appoint a special envoy to Nigeria and the Lake Chad region.

The event will be open to the public with time for questions. Details are as follows:

WHO:          

  • Benjamin Watson – former New England Patriot
  • Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (HI)
  • John Stonestreet – President, The Colson Center
  • Rep. Frank Wolf  (Rtd)

WHEN:         

Wednesday, September 16 at 2:00 p.m. Eastern Time (US)

WHERE:      

 

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Hear Their Voices

Last month, we launched our newest campaign called Hear Their Voices. This campaign places attention on the tragic Silent Slaughter of innocent individuals in remote places and villages within Nigeria.

This 8-week campaign is a way for ICON to bring attention and focus to the effects of terrorism on women and children throughout the country. After the brutal attacks and killings of husbands and fathers, these individuals are left to fend for themselves with little to no support from the government.

Throughout the campaign, we have been posting articles, quotes, videos, and facts which bring much-needed light to the darkness these women and children have been forced to live in. Please help us by joining in the conversation and supporting those who are under a burden far too heavy for them to bear alone.

To further elevate the Hear Their Voice campaign, we hope you have been able to view our ongoing videocast, ‘One On One with Ann & Priscilla’, which is streamed live on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube every Tuesday at 12 pm ET.

Every week, Ann and Priscilla have been hearing and discussing stories from victims of the Nigerian crisis. These stories bring concerned individuals such as yourself real-life accounts of how these victims are affected by the many issues in their towns and communities.

Thus far, the three victims we have heard from have told stories of difficulty and hurt, yet also of hope and anticipation for something better. Every Tuesday we hear from survivors and how they support one another in their pain, about the heavy responsibilities placed on mothers who lose their partners, how women and children are left to process trauma, and how children are forced to grow up far too quickly. Although these testimonies are difficult to listen to, we find great joy in giving these victims a hope to cling to in knowing there are people like you who desire to help.

We encourage you to follow and share the stories and support the families who have been heavily persecuted and affected by this genocide. A one-time or reoccurring donation goes a long way.

Please help us make a difference in the lives of these women and children by contributing today: https://iconhelp.org/hear-their-voices/

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ICON Demands Accountability After Terrorists Implicate Nigerian Government; Reveal Next Phase is Civil War

WASHINGTON, D.C., August 12, 2020  The International Committee on Nigeria (ICON), a nonprofit working to secure a future for all Nigerians, is demanding accountability after it was revealed for the first time publicly that a Northern Nigeria governor is commanding Boko Haram. In a live interview, former deputy governor of Nigeria’s Central Bank Dr. Obadiah Mailafia said repentant terrorists told him this directly. He also said now that terrorists have infiltrated Southern Nigeria, their plan is to start a civil war by the year 2022 and that the Buhari Administration is complicit. Since going public with this knowledge, Dr. Mailafia was brought in for questioning by the Department of State Services (DSS) to discuss specific details, including sharing the name of the Boko Haram commander.#ISupportDrMailafia “For far too long, there has been great darkness in Nigeria where people of faith face persecution and daily violence that most of us cannot even begin to comprehend – and no one should have to endure,” said Stephen Enada, co-founder of ICON. “By refusing to hold perpetrators accountable, the government has failed its people over and over again. Today, that needs to stop. Dr. Mailafia has given the name of one of the highest-profile perpetrators to the government, and we expect swift action to follow.”  Last month, ICON released a new report proving ongoing religious persecution and genocide in Nigeria. The report shows more than 90,000 innocent people have been killed between 2000 and 2020 – mainly women and children. Names of victims have been logged, but the names of perpetrators have been largely unknown. “We commend Dr. Mailafia for coming forward and encourage others with information on perpetrators to come forward as well,” continued Enada. “The Nigerian government has an opportunity here and should remember that the world is watching. They need to act on this intelligence and our government needs to prioritize discussions on sending a special envoy,” said Kyle Abts, co-founder of ICON. “Innocent Nigerian people have been dying in droves, for too long. At the end of the day, the people responsible for these crimes must be held accountable and the killing must stop.” According to ICON’s incidence tracker, more than 2,500 have been brutally killed already this year. Yet, the Nigerian government has done nothing. This should greatly concern the United States and other Western nations. Nigeria is the lynchpin of regional stability and a strategic partner with the U.S. in the struggle against extremism. Swift and precise policy decisions from the U.S., in partnership with Nigerian civil society, can have profound stabilizing effects. On the reverse, a destabilized Nigeria will have negative impacts on the region, and around the world. “We must act now to move toward a peaceful, unified Nigeria and to prevent another African genocide,” Abts continued. “We need a special envoy and the terrorists committing these crimes need to be held accountable.”

 

Click here to view ICON’s message of support for Dr. Mailafia, pictured above, addressing select media executives in the DSS Office Jos, flanked by Akubu SAN, Yakubu Bawa Esq, and his wife Mrs Margaret Vou Mailafia.

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