World News

COVID-19 makes life harder for Africa’s persecuted Christians

As the COVID-19 outbreak begins in sub-Saharan Africa, hundreds of thousands of Christian believers, who are already persecuted for their faith, are now also bearing the brunt of the restrictions being imposed in the region to fight the pandemic, according to Open Doors USA. Persecuted for their decision to follow Jesus, believers in four of the five most virus-vulnerable countries in the region “are now doubly vulnerable” to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, says Open Doors in a report.


The Christian ministry’s ‘World Watch Research’ data indicates “a direct correlation between the countries in sub-Saharan Africa that are most vulnerable to the virus and the countries where Christians face the most pressure for following Jesus.” The pandemic “provokes a rising in the ways believers can be discriminated against, exploited and attacked for their faith,” it explains.

Open Doors’ director for West Africa, identified only as Suleiman, said he’s receiving constant requests for food and other vital support from overcrowded camps for internally displaced persons — those displaced by attacks from Islamic radical groups like Boko Haram, ISIS, Fulani militants and the Allied Democratic Forces across the region.

In some Shariah-governed areas, the government is discriminating against Christians, the report reveals. “Believers from towns in northern Nigeria’s Kaduna State, including Ungwan Boro, Sabon Tasha, Barnawa and Naraye, report they get six times smaller rations from the state than Muslim families,” Open Doors notes.

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