The Biden administration has been under fire for removing Nigeria from the U.S. State Department's list of countries of particular concern.

Faithwire reported that persecution watchdogs are warning the Biden administration as persecution of Christians increased over the year. Open Doors USA CEO David Curry said they were "puzzled" by the Biden administration's decision to remove Nigeria from the list,especially as hostility against Christians continues to get worse.

Recently, a young woman in Nigeria named Deborah Emmanuel Yakubu has been fatally stoned, beaten, and burned after being falsely accused of insulting the Muslim prophet, Muhammad. The brutal attack was filmed and shared on social media.

The incident fired up criticisms from experts about the Biden administration's decision while the persecution intensifies inside the African nation.

Call To Return Nigeria On The List

According to Curry, "more calamity and persecution" awaits Christians in the country. He indicated that the Nigerian government had done nothing to address persecution arising in the country. Lives are expected to be taken away after easing the pressure on Nigeria. Taking off its designation as a country of particular concern for no reason, and without any justification, seems "purely political," said Curry.

Curry reiterated that since 2012 Nigerian Authorities have ignored or look past the deadly extremism. Putting back the country on the State Dept's list will pressure the government to at least curb the extremists. Though the designation does not come with specific or binding sanctions, U.S. law states that government should "take targeted responses to violations of religious freedom".

Also Read: Christians In Nigeria Continue To Face State-Supported Persecution, Report Says

Call For Action

The Head of International Communications at Persecution Watchdog Christian Solidarity International (CSI), Joel Veldkamp, also appealed to President Biden to take action following the attack on the Nigerian woman.

As Veldkamp gave updates on the passing of Yakubu, he said that the United States has a "large infrastructure dedicated to religious freedom" to which Biden could take action. He noted that if the Nigerian government would not seriously take the incident and the United States would remain in its decision, there would be no chance for Nigeria to change for the better.

"You have a chance to intervene to make a difference to make it clear," he said. As an ally of the United States, he said it was unacceptable to let people be killed in the streets.

CSI President Dr. John Eibner also sent a letter to U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken to take action. He urged the state secretary to "return Nigeria to the U.S.'s Countries of Particular Concern list."

Blinken removed Nigeria from the list before he arrived in the country as a part of his African tour. According to Aljazeera, the United States constructed its delegation based on the recommendations of an independent body, the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom. However, despite the recommendations of the commission in 2021, Nigeria went off the list including India, Syria, and Vietnam.

Related Article: Advocacy Groups Are Concerned State Department Removes Nigeria From Its Religious Freedom Watch List