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Shari’a court consents to destruction of churches in northern Nigeria

Catholic World News - May 21, 2010

Three Protestant churches and a pastor’s home were demolished on May 15 and 19 in Kano state in northern Nigeria after a local Shari’a court consented to their destruction.

“It is unacceptable that churches can still be destroyed on the whim of a few extremists,” said an official of Christian Solidarity Worldwide. “These demolitions violate Nigeria’s constitutional and international legal undertakings to uphold religious freedom and freedom of assembly. In addition, the constitution stipulates that non-Muslims cannot be brought before Shari’a courts unless they have agreed to this in advance and in writing; thus there is no valid basis for these demolitions.”

The United States Commission on International Religious Freedom recently named Nigeria a country of particular concern because of “ongoing, egregious violations of religious freedom” there.

50% of the nation’s 142.5 million people are Muslim; 25% are Protestant, 15% are Catholic, and 10% retain indigenous beliefs.

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