by Karen Faulkner, Worthy News Correspondent
(Worthy News) - The United States added Nigeria to a blacklist of countries that violate religious liberties Monday, DW reports. Joining Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, and China, Nigeria is now listed as a country “of concern” “under the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998."
In a Twitter post about his addition of Nigeria to the list, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo wrote: "The US is unwavering in its commitment to religious freedom. No country or entity should be allowed to persecute people with impunity because of their beliefs. These annual designations show that when religious freedom is attacked, we will act."
US law stipulates that blacklisted countries must address and improve their conduct on religious freedom, DW said. Failure to do so could result in sanctions, including possible loss of US federal aid.
According to findings by the US State Department found, some 80% of people worldwide face violations of religious liberty. "Where religious freedom is absent, terrorism and violence fester. Our advocacy for religious communities abroad helps to ensure the protection and prosperity of Americans at home," the State Department said in a statement.
In its report, DW observed that, although religious freedoms have been restricted in India since Prime Minister Narendra Modi took office in 2014, that country has not been placed on the US blacklist as yet.