17 June 2018

Nigeria: U.S. Religious Envoy to Visit Nigeria

United States Ambassador at Large for International Religious Freedom, Samuel Brownback, will arrive Nigeria Monday on a four-day visit.

A statement issued by the office of the Spokesperson, US State Department said during his trip to Nigeria, Brownback will visit Abuja, Kaduna and Lagos.

The statement said the envoy would also meet with government officials, religious leaders and civil society groups.

"Ambassador at Large for International Religious Freedom Sam Brownback will travel to Abuja, Kaduna, and Lagos, Nigeria from June 18-22.

Alongside Ambassador W. Stuart Symington, Ambassador Brownback will meet with government officials, religious leaders, and civil society groups. The Ambassadors will also tour the National Mosque and visit a refugee camp," the statement read.

The Office of International Religious Freedom, headed by Ambassador Brownback, has the mission of promoting religious freedom as a core objective of US foreign policy. The office also monitors religious persecution and discrimination worldwide, recommend and implement policies in respective regions or countries, and develop programmes to promote religious freedom.

The office carries out its mission through the Annual Report on International Religious Freedom. The report presented to the US Congress by the Secretary of State describes the status of religious freedom in each of 195 countries throughout the world.

Countries guilty of particularly severe violations of religious freedom are designated as countries of particular concern and countries so designated are subject to actions by the US, including economic sanctions.

The United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) recently recommended that Nigeria should be designated country of particular concern, along with 15 other nations including Syria, Iran, Pakistan, Vietnam, and China.

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