In Niger, religion is understood to be a private matter, but the government’s separation of state and religion is under increasing pressure. Muslim religious leaders of the Izala group, a radical Islamic group originating in northern Nigeria, are active in Niger and threatening the freedom of Christians.
Until recently Niger had been, more or less, spared violent Islamic militancy and the Church was not a main target. However, in the WWL 2020 reporting period, the country has come under a series of attacks by militants.
Corruption is a problem in the judiciary; impunity is a serious challenge facing the country. Officeholders who engage in corrupt practices attract negative publicity, but are not adequately prosecuted. This situation harms all of Niger society, including the Christian population.
Violent Islamic militants have forced Niger’s president to ask for international help, especially from the USA. This volatile, hostile and unpredictable situation of the country has put Christians at more risk and increased their vulnerability.
Niger’s score rose 8 points between 2019 and 2020, mainly because of the pressure and violence orchestrated by jihadists in the Sahel region.
Open Doors has been involved in Niger since 2011 through local churches and partners. Our vision for Niger is for Christians to understand persecution and responds to it Biblically, enjoy greater economic stability, continue to reach out to others, have pastors that are servant leaders and are properly discipled. Our programs include:
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