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Advocates dispute State Dept.'s 'political narrative' on Nigeria | Politics Information – The Christian Publish



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The U.S. State Division says it has raised considerations about non secular freedom prerequisites in Nigeria although advocates accuse the Biden management of pushing a “political narrative” because the West African nation faces expanding extremist and communal violence. 
The State Division launched its annual global non secular freedom document Thursday, which Secretary of State Antony Blinken described as a “thorough, fact-based assessment of the state of non secular freedom in just about 200 international locations and territories all over the world.”
The document featured a 25-page segment at the state of non secular freedom in Nigeria, which was once in the past integrated at the State Division’s “International locations of Explicit Worry” listing of governments that interact in or tolerate egregious violations of non secular freedom. 
Blinken got rid of Nigeria from the listing ultimate November, just below a 12 months after then-Secretary of State Mike Pompeo added the West African country to the listing in December 2020. Consistent with advocates, Nigeria was once the primary secular democracy to be added to the CPC listing, which carries the potential of sanctions. 
The brand new State Division document cited testimony from “civil society organizations and media,” who “mentioned that lack of confidence was once pervasive all through the rustic and higher national, in particular within the North West area.” As famous within the document, “Islam is the dominant faith within the North West area.”
“There was once pervasive violence involving predominantly Muslim herders and most commonly Christian, but additionally Muslim, farmers, in particular within the North Central, but additionally within the North West (the place maximum farmers have been Muslim) and South West areas,” the document added. “Consistent with the Nigeria safety tracker maintained by means of the Council on International Members of the family, there have been an estimated 10,399 deaths from violent struggle all the way through the 12 months, in comparison with 9,694 in 2020.”
The Council on International Members of the family estimated that 1,112 deaths “resulted from violence amongst ethnic teams, herdsmen, and farmers, a few of which had implications for faith and spiritual freedom, consistent with a couple of observers or, within the phrases of the council, ‘from time to time acquires non secular overtones.'”
Within the closely Christian southwest portion of Nigeria, native media and officers made up our minds that legal assaults to start with attributed to contributors of the predominantly Muslim Fulani ethnic workforce have been as an alternative perpetrated by means of “armed legal teams of quite a lot of ethnicities.”
Earlier Christian Publish articles at the killings of Christians have been cited within the document, together with a June 2 article concerning the demise of a Nigerian Christian pastor and his 3-year-old son by the hands of Fulani radicals and a Might 24 article concerning the arson of a church development by means of “bandits” who additionally shot 8 Christians to demise.
Remaining November, the similar month that the State Division introduced Nigeria’s elimination from the CPC listing, Blinken met with high-ranking authorities officers in Nigeria. 
Consistent with the document, Blinken “raised non secular freedom problems with authorities officers in a talk over with in November, as did embassy and consulate common officers all through the 12 months.”
“Problems integrated the answer of broadly publicized blasphemy instances and the function of non secular leaders in peacebuilding and social consider, and societal abuses affecting faith,” the document reads.

Amongst different officers, Blinken and U.S. diplomats met with President Muhammadu Buhari and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.
“U.S. officers additionally addressed non secular tensions and efforts to deliver non secular teams along side a number of state governors – together with the governors of Kaduna, Kano, Benue, Nasarawa, Taraba, Borno, Plateau, Akwa Ibom, Enugu, and Abia States – and different authorities officers all through the rustic,” the document reads. “They mentioned authorities and government-supported grassroots efforts to cut back violence, fight lack of confidence, and advertise non secular freedom and interreligious tolerance.”
Stephen Enada, president and founding father of the Global Committee on Nigeria, instructed The Christian Publish in an e-mail that “Blinken has now not equipped the wanted management that may stabilize Nigeria’s non secular fault traces by means of putting off Nigeria from the CPC designation.”
Enada, a Nigerian Christian who fled to the U.S. a number of years in the past after his cousin was once killed, warned that violence happening throughout a couple of areas within the nation, together with the upward push of terrorist teams like Boko Haram and the Islamic State West Africa Province within the northeast, is impacting hundreds of thousands. 
He stated, “religiously motivated killings are ongoing and hundreds of thousands of individuals are displaced, and teen women are bought as intercourse slaves by means of the non secular extremists.”
“The problem of terrorism and different militant actions that experience engulfed Nigeria prior to now 10 years is on account of state failure and loss of responsibility,” he argues. 
Whilst Enada means that the Nigerian authorities may do extra to give protection to non secular freedom, he praised the Nigerian Charter for “the absence of a state faith” and it is granting of the correct to apply a delegated “faith or religion with none pressure or coercion.”
Nina Shea, the director of the Hudson Institute’s Middle for Non secular Freedom, instructed CP in an e-mail that “the State Division has overlooked the massive image of inclined Christian minorities of northern Nigeria being again and again attacked and pushed from their villages by means of Muslim extremists and their brokers who act with entire impunity.”
“Government fail to research and prosecute the perpetrators of those large-scale atrocities, and additionally prosecute and threaten native newshounds who document on them,” she mentioned. 
“There may be an incomprehensible hole between the State Division’s reporting and what determined Christians at the flooring are reporting to spiritual freedom advocates right here. This hole displays State’s overreliance on resources that it and [United States Agency for International Development] budget, which in flip push a political narrative preferred by means of State. That narrative says that northern violence is pushed by means of a struggle over a lack of sources on account of local weather trade.”
Sam Brownback, who served as ambassador-at-large for global non secular freedom within the Trump management and is the previous governor of Kansas, was once one of the crucial first non secular freedom advocates who condemned Nigeria’s elimination from the CPC listing ultimate fall.
“The unexpected elimination of Nigeria from the CPC listing is a significant blow to spiritual freedom in each Nigeria and around the area,” he stated. “Simply after we will have to be doing the whole thing imaginable to forestall the relentless violence that is concentrated on Christians and others, we do the other.”
“This rewards the Nigerian authorities for tolerating serious non secular freedom violations and sends a message to extremists that their movements will proceed to head unpunished,” he added. “Other folks of religion in Nigeria will endure the fallout of this determination, and that’s the reason unacceptable.”
The U.S. Fee on Global Non secular Freedom, a bipartisan panel tasked with advising the State Division and Congress about non secular freedom issues, was once essential of Nigeria’s elimination from the CPC listing. 
“USCIRF is particularly displeased with the elimination of Nigeria from its CPC designation, the place it was once rightfully positioned [in 2020],” USCIRF Chair Nadine Maenza stated on the time. 
The State Division’s document presented reward to the Nigerian authorities for its reaction to the non secular violence within the nation.
“President Buhari and Vice President Osinbajo continuously condemned assaults on puts of worship and the ones making an attempt to take advantage of non secular variations,” the document reads. “Buhari continuously consulted with key Muslim and Christian leaders and celebrated each professional Christian and Muslim vacations.”
The document pointed to a Feb. 15 observation from Buhari asking non secular leaders and authorities officers to “sign up for arms with the Federal Govt to make sure that communities of their area don’t seem to be splintered alongside ethnic and different primordial traces” as proof of the federal government’s enhance for non secular freedom. Moreover, Buhari vowed that his “authorities will give protection to all … non secular teams, whether or not majority or minority, consistent with its accountability below the charter.”
The document additionally commented on Nigeria’s elimination from the CPC listing, pronouncing that Blinken “made up our minds that Nigeria didn’t meet the standards” to stay at the listing or be even added to the State Division’s second-tier “Particular Watch Record.” 
Open Doorways USA, a company that screens persecution in over 60 international locations, ranks Nigeria because the 7th worst nation on this planet with regards to Christian persecution. The non secular freedom advocacy workforce Unlock Global integrated Nigeria on a listing of nations the place Christian persecution was once anticipated to aggravate in 2022.

Ryan Foley is a reporter for The Christian Publish. He may also be reached at:

Ryan Foley is a reporter for The Christian Publish. He may also be reached at:
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The Friend Who Sticks Closer than a Brother




The Friend Who Sticks Closer than a Brother

Embracing True Friendship: The Friend Who Sticks Closer Than a Brother

Friendship is a valuable asset that enriches our lives by providing companionship, support, and a shoulder to cry on. But have you ever had a buddy who goes above and beyond—someone who remains closer than a brother? In a world where relationships can be fickle, a friend who sticks by us through thick and thin is a rare and priceless gift.

More Than Just Blood Ties

Consider the tie between siblings, which is based on blood and shared history. Consider a buddy who is more than just a family member. “One who has untrustworthy friends soon comes to ruin,” says Proverbs 18:24 (NIV), “but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.”

This verse describes a friendship that goes beyond basic conditions. It’s a bond founded on trust, loyalty, and real concern for one another.

Continuous Support

Consider a buddy who is present not only during happy times but also during difficult times. This type of friend is unconcerned about changing circumstances or personal gain. They provide their presence, encouragement, and steadfast support.

Jesus expresses the core of such friendship in John 15:13 (NIV): “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. This selfless affection serves as the foundation for a lasting connection.

Journeys Together

Consider a friend you’ve shared many stages of life with—the highs, the lows, and everything in between. This shared experience forges a link that extends beyond surface-level exchanges. The value of companionship is brilliantly captured in Ecclesiastes 4:9–10 (NIV): “Two are better than one because they have a good return for their labor. If either of them falls down, one can help the other up.”

A friend who sticks closer than a brother is someone who goes beside us through life’s ups and downs, lending a solid hand and an ear to listen.

A Mirror of God’s Love

As a symbol of God’s love for us, consider the buddy who sticks closer than a brother. God Himself offers an unbroken, unchanging, and everlasting companionship. “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord,” says the Bible in Romans 8:38–39.

God’s love is the ultimate paradigm of true friendship—a love that is not conditional but remains faithful regardless of what happens.

Conclusion: Value true friendship.

A friend who sticks closer to you than a sibling is a treasure to be treasured. This type of friendship is founded on love, trust, and mutual care rather than convenience or shared interests. May we seek to be that sort of friend to others in our lives, just as God offers us His unfailing love.

In a world where relationships can be fleeting, let us create friendships that will endure. Let us be the sort of friends who are present in both joy and sadness, who offer unconditional support, and who mirror God’s unfailing love. We are reminded of the beauty of true friendship, which clings closer than a brother, as we welcome and cherish these unique and valuable ties.

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The Just God




The Just God

The Just God: The Divine Balance of Justice and Mercy

The concept of justice is intertwined with the fabric of human society. We seek justice, responsibility, and reparation for wrongs done. But have you ever pondered a God who is not only just but also perfectly just? The Just God is a lighthouse of truth and righteousness, providing a profound awareness of justice and kindness that transcends human comprehension.

Justice in Pursuit

Consider a world where wrongdoers go unpunished and the disadvantaged have no recourse. The pursuit of justice is a natural human goal that reflects a feeling of rightness and order. And if we as humans value justice, how much more should the Creator of the universe, who is completely just?

According to Deuteronomy 32:4 (NIV), “He is the rock; his works are perfect, and all his ways are just. He is a loyal God who does no wrong, who is straight and just. This verse reveals God’s character, which is characterized by unwavering justice.

Justice and Mercy in Balance

Consider yourself in front of a judge who holds you accountable for every action and decision you make. Imagine that same judge showing mercy and giving you a second opportunity despite the evidence against you. The just God is kind as well as just.

This delicate balance is captured in Psalm 103:10–11 (NIV): “He does not treat us as our sins deserve, nor does He repay us according to our iniquities. For his love for people who fear him is as high as the skies are above the earth. God’s justice is balanced by his unending love and kindness.

The Redemption of Justice

Consider a debt that you will never be able to repay—a debt of mistakes and wrongs that weigh heavy on your soul. In His perfect justice, the just God provides a solution. God provides a mechanism for justice to be served and redemption to be offered through the sacrifice of His Son, Jesus Christ.

“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,” says Romans 3:23–24 (NIV), “and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. This is an example of justice being met via the redemptive act of Christ’s sacrifice.

A Call to Justice

Consider a society in which justice is not simply a notion but a way of life. In our interactions with others, the just God calls us to exemplify justice. Micah 6:8 (NIV) states unequivocally, “He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. What does the Lord expect of you? Act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with your God.”

Living justly entails treating people with fairness, compassion, and respect, as the character of the just God requires.

Finishing: Adoring the Just God

The Just God asks us to comprehend the breadth of His justice—a justice that supports truth, requires accountability, and strikes a balance between mercy and justice. God’s justice and mercy merge in the person of Jesus Christ, offering us redemption and restoration.

May we turn to the just God as our ultimate standard as we traverse a world that frequently grapples with issues of fairness. May we seek His wisdom and counsel in order to live justly and treat others with love and justice. We find not only a paradigm of perfect justice but also an invitation to experience the transformative power of His kindness when we embrace the Just God.

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The Pleasure of Serving Others: A Pathway to Achievement




The Joy of Serving Others: A Pathway to Fulfillment

The Pleasure of Serving Others: A Highway to Contentment

Have you ever ever felt the nice and cozy glow that effects from lending a serving to hand to a stranger, the enjoyment that lasts for days after the act of kindness? That emotion offers a way of the pride of serving to others. The straightforward act of serving to can give us a sense of function and pleasure in contrast to the rest in a society that incessantly pushes us to place our consideration on ourselves.

The Want to Serve

Believe a society the place everybody labored to fortify the lives of people of their instant neighborhood. The need to lend a serving to hand, proportion a load, and supply comfort is on the core of carrier. The instance used to be established through Jesus Himself when he stated, “For even the Son of Guy didn’t come to be served, however to serve, and to provide his lifestyles as a ransom for plenty of.” (NIV, Mark 10:45)

Serving others is extra than just a nice deed; it is a way to emulate the compassion and love that Christ proven for us.

Discovering Pleasure in Selfless Giving

Believe spending time with the aged or going to a neighborhood refuge to hear their stories and cause them to really feel essential. Those tiny acts of kindness won’t appear to be a lot, however they be capable to make any person’s day higher, create relationships, and toughen a sense of group.

A better feeling of pleasure emerges after we set aside our personal issues and be aware of the wishes of others. The Bible admonishes us, “Every of you can use no matter present you’ve gotten won to serve others, as trustworthy stewards of God’s grace in its more than a few paperwork.” (NIV) 1 Peter 4:10 We specific the particular talents God has given us through serving others, and it’s in those deeds of carrier that we discover authentic pleasure.

Have an effect on Unmeasurable

Take into consideration the impact if all of us realized to experience serving to others. If we take a bit spoil from our tense schedules to lend a hand a neighbor, supply a sympathetic ear, or donate cash to a reason we reinforce. Small acts of kindness have the facility to unfold, sparking a sequence response of generosity and optimistic exchange.

In step with the NIV translation of Matthew 25:40, Jesus stated, “Actually I inform you, no matter you probably did for this sort of least of those brothers and sisters of mine, you probably did for me.” No longer simplest can we fortify the lives of other folks we serve, however we additionally perform Jesus’ command to like and deal with the ones round us.

Development Relationships and Connections

Believe the sensation of camaraderie that comes from cooperating with others to reach a shared purpose. Folks come in combination via carrier, growing ties and friendships that differently won’t have took place. It serves as a reminder that we’re all part of a broader group, and that group would possibly take pleasure in the acts we do.

Serving others permits us to peer the arena from many angles and to realize the demanding situations and victories of other folks round us. Our lives are enriched and {our relationships} are deepened through this sensitivity.

Conclusion: Discovering Contentment Via Carrier

Every people has a skill that is able to be opened: the pleasure of serving to others. It serves as a reminder that our lives are meant to be about extra than just our personal pursuits; they’re an opportunity to fortify the lives of others.

Let’s thus embody the pride of serving to others, if it is by means of deeds of kindness, volunteering, or simply being conscious about their wishes. The easy act of serving would possibly supply mild and hope in a global that every so often turns out overwhelming. As we emulate Christ and prolong ourselves in love, we no longer simplest exchange the lives of others but additionally revel in a deep feeling of success and enjoyment that overflows into our personal hearts.

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