|Last year’s rank||7|
|Population||216 747 000|
|Christians||100 420 000|
Since the northern states declared allegiance to Sharia (Islamic law) in 1999, the enforced Islamisation has gained momentum, by violent and non-violent means. In the Sharia states Christians face discrimination and exclusion as second-class citizens. Believers from a Muslim Background also face rejection from their own families, pressure to give up Christianity, and often physical violence.
Attacks by Islamic militant groups have increased consistently since 2015, with the government failing to prevent the rise in violence, which affects all Nigerians, but particularly Christians.
Violence remains the most dangerous and prevalent threat in Nigeria. Christians continue to be attacked indiscriminately and brutally in northern Nigeria, and the violence has now spread to southern Nigeria. Militant groups such as Boko Haram, ISWAP and Fulani militants inflict murder, physical injury, abduction and sexual violence on their victims. Christians are dispossessed of their land and their means of livelihood. Many live as internally displaced people or refugees.
“We were working in the fields of our farm when armed men approached us. They kidnapped three of us. They later killed my two friends. I am the only one living.”
Agnes, a survivor of abduction by Boko Haram
How does Open Doors support our family in Nigeria?
Open Doors works through local church partners to strengthen Christians in Nigeria with discipleship and persecution survival training, trauma care, relief aid and economic empowerment projects.