The United States has removed Nigeria from the list of religious violators. The United States government had last year placed Nigeria to its special watch list of states that had engaged in or tolerated the severe violation of religious freedom
On Wenesday, Washington removed Nigeria from its list of countries with religious freedom concerns, just a day before Secretary of State Antony Blinken arrives in the country as part of a tour of Africa.
The recent removal drew a sharp rebuke from a U.S. government commission that had recommended the Biden administration keep Nigeria as a so-called country of particular concern for engaging in or tolerating violations of religious freedom.
Blinken made an annual announcement on Wednesday of the countries on the list, naming Myanmar, China, Eritrea, Iran, North Korea, Pakistan, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan as countries of particular concern. He also placed Algeria, Comoros, Cuba and Nicaragua on a watch list for religious freedom, and designated armed groups, including Islamic State and several of its affiliates, as entities of concern.
But Nigeria, which was added to the list for the first time in 2020, was not redesignated.