Nigeria (MNN) — The second annual International Religious Freedom Summit concludes in the U.S. capital today. More about that here.
While the talks highlighted rampant persecution in Nigeria, World Mission’s Greg Kelley holds little hope for change. “I think a lot of this is just rhetoric, quite honestly, and unfortunately, empty words,” he says.
There’s a direct tie between national security and religious freedom in Nigeria. Weak governance at the national level leaves Christians without any protection against persecution.
“There’s tremendous corruption at the highest levels of Nigeria, and this government is turning a blind eye to the horrors in the northern part,” Kelley says.
“Islamic mobs are acting [with the knowledge] that there will not be consequences to their behavior.”
In one northern state, officials recently told citizens to arm themselves. “The Christians have largely been run out of northern Nigeria over the last 20 years, literally hunted down by these Islamic groups,” Kelley says.
World Mission and its partners refuse to leave. They’re making Christ known in the hardest-to-reach places. “Two of our centers [were] attacked, but nobody is packing up their bags and moving out,” Kelley says.
Instead, “they’re recruiting more missionaries who are motivated to take the Gospel of Jesus Christ where it’s never been.”
“When people financially support us, we send solar-powered audio Bibles in the Hausa, Fulani, and Kanuri languages. We mobilize indigenous leaders that are uprooting and going into those places,” Kelley says.
Header image shows Nigerians listening to a Treasure audio Bible from World Mission.