WORLD WATCH LIST

Niger

#29

Nigerien converts from Islam to Christianity face rejection and extreme hostility.

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“I faced a lot of challenges, and my siblings and relatives showed me hatred. They kept asking: ‘Why did you accept this false teaching?’ But they are the ones living in false teachings because I have accepted the grace of God.”

– Mariama is a Christian from a Muslim background

Country
Profile

Region
Africa
Sources of persecution
Islamic Oppression
Population
26,084,000
Christian population
65,300
Religions
Islam
Leader
President Mohamed Bazoum
Score
70

What’s Life Like For Christians?

Niger is a Muslim-majority nation and Islam is regarded as being part of Nigerien ethnicity: If you are a Nigerien, you are a Muslim. Conversion from Islam to any religion is considered a betrayal, and converts to Christianity face hostility from their family and community.

They may be rejected by their families, chased out of the family home, or put under house arrest. Many converts are denied their inheritance rights as a form of punishment for leaving Islam.

What Has Changed This Year?

Ongoing violence by Islamic extremists has increased the pressure on Christians. Jihadist groups have expanded their influence in the country. In the past, Niger had been more or less spared from attacks by radical Islamic groups and the church was previously not a main target.

In the last few years, the country has seen a series of attacks. Christians face increasing difficulties to live according to their faith while living in Islamic communities.

PRAY FOR NIGER

– For protection against violence from extremist groups.

– For economic empowerment groups in which women learn business skills.

– For God to strengthen believers who are under pressure.

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