Post by: Rebecca Emmanuel
Hello! It is time to rejoice! Even though the threat of the COVID-19 pandemic is still real, and there are many suffering from starvation, sickness, religious persecution, detainment, and much more, there is hope. On July 9, 2020, Sudan’s Prime Minister Hamdok and the Minister of Justice passed several acts, including the Miscellaneous Amendments (Fundamental Rights and Freedom) Act 2020, which in effect repealed the apostasy law in Sudan. The apostasy law applied the death penalty for anyone who left the Islamic religion. The annulment of the apostasy law means religious freedom for the citizens of Sudan to convert to other religions as they please without fear of death. This freedom is something you and I take for granted, but after DECADES of advocacy by religious organizations, human rights organizations, and various individuals, there is a breakthrough! I cannot fathom the length of time, the energy, the passion, the endless meetings, updates, reports, letters, and submissions that had to be done before such a feat was achieved.
Despite the many countries that need to make changes to protect the freedom of religious belief of its people, what happened in Sudan means that there is the hope of a change. This summer I worked with other interns and staff at Jubilee Campaign on the terrible situation going on in Nigeria. For the past ten years, there have been increasing deaths because of jihadist movements trickling down from the creation of ISIS, the sale of arms from Northern African countries down to the Sahel of Africa where Nigeria is located. It started with Boko Haram (A faction of ISIS -West Africa), and even though the government disbanded the group in 2018 and tried to contain the killings of innocent people, there are still remnants of the group in Northern Nigeria that continue to create fear and cause grief to Nigerians. More than just Boko Haram, new groups are rising who want to create an Islamic state in Nigeria. They are called Fulani Militants, and they are killing Christians, burning churches, and displacing thousands of people in Nigeria.
Jubilee Campaign has been working with other organizations in Nigeria who are fighting to raise awareness about the situation in Nigeria. The government denies what is going on in the country as people suffer day by day. Together we are writing reports to various UN mechanisms as well as the African Union to hold the inactive government leaders of Nigeria accountable for the lack of security in the country that is enabling human rights violations.
This post was written by a Center for Global Justice Intern. The views expressed in this post do not necessarily reflect those of Regent University, Regent Law School, or the Center for Global Justice.