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Rally to Support Nigeria's Persecuted Christians

'Shari'a has opened the door to unchecked persecution of non-Muslims.' -- Faith J.H. McDonnell, IRD Religious Liberty Director

Contact: Jeff Walton, Institute on Religion and Democracy, 202-682-4131, 202-413-5639 cell, jwalton@TheIRD.org

WASHINGTON, April 1 /Christian Newswire/ -- In response to a series of recent attacks on Christian communities in Nigeria, the Institute on Religion and Democracy has joined with the editors of the journal First Things and other organizations to sponsor a rally of solidarity for Nigeria's Christians.

On Wednesday, April 7, religious, civic and human rights leaders of many faiths and backgrounds will gather at Second Avenue and 44th Street in front of the Nigerian Consulate in New York City to raise their voices of conscience about the continuing massacres of Christians as well as the ongoing persecution of non-Muslim minorities by jihadists in Nigeria and elsewhere across the globe.

The event will feature a press conference from 4:30-5 p.m., immediately followed by the rally that will run until 7 p.m. For more information, please visit the web site for the rally: http://april7rally.wordpress.com

IRD Religious Liberty Director Faith J.H. McDonnell commented:

    "In Nigeria, Africa's most populous nation, jihad has been aggressive. Inter-religious violence resulting from radical Islam has been responsible for the deaths of over 50,000 people in the past ten years in Nigeria.
    "Although the media usually refers to an 'ethnic clash' and denies the radical Islamist motivation behind these killings, we know that this is part of a organized effort to wipe out the Christians in Nigeria and establish a totally Islamic country.
    "Although state religion is ostensibly a violation of the country's national, secular constitution, 12 out of 36 states have instituted Shari'a (Islamic law) as the highest legal authority. And, as is usually the case, Shari'a has opened the door to unchecked persecution of non-Muslims.
    "As people who value the free exercise of religion, it is our goal to hold the Nigerian government accountable for keeping Christians safe from terror."