Release International has written a report detailing their top countries of concern for 2018. Among that list is Nigeria, due to the large numbers of attacks by Fulani militants on Christian Farming villages. They ranked Nigeria with other countries like China, Pakistan, and India, who have all passed laws against Christianity. This is a big deal because Nigeria is the largest population and wealthiest country in Africa. They hold a lot of influence on the rest of Western Africa.
2018-01-03 Nigeria (ReleaseInternational) Countries of concern for 2018 in new Release report include China, Nigeria and India.
China has been cracking down on Christmas celebrations in some districts, banning Santa Claus and Christmas hats to further tighten its squeeze on Christianity.
China is a key country of concern for 2018 for Release International, which supports persecuted Christians around the world. Their latest Persecution Trends Report warns Christians in China look set to face a harsh new year.
Tougher regulations on religious affairs come into force in February, giving the state greater control over churches and other places of worship. Those new rules will mean unregistered house churches will face increasingly tough measures to control their activities.
The restrictions are being promoted to ‘block extremism’ and prevent the use of religion to ‘endanger national security and undermine social order’. They reflect the Communist Party’s fear that foreign powers are working to undermine its authority by supporting Christianity.
It follows moves by Chinese president Xi Jinping to strengthen his control over the country by writing his name into the constitution. Although that constitution supposedly safeguards religious freedom, President Xi’s administration has been tearing down symbols of Christianity, such as crosses on churches, and imprisoning Christian lawyers who take legal action to prevent their removal.