Christian minorities in Africa are being especially affected amid the crisis caused by the CCP Virus (Chinese Communist Party Virus), also known as the novel coronavirus.
Open Doors, a charity that advocates for religious freedom, has been documenting the situation that families in much of Nigeria are experiencing. It claims that the food rations they are now receiving are six times smaller than those of their non-Christian neighbors.
So far the charity has delivered food to Christian minorities in Uzbekistan who have also been denied aid because of their religious beliefs, Express UK reported.
The global alarm generated by the CCP Virus has exposed an increase in the vulnerability of Christian communities, which an Open Doors report said are “now doubly vulnerable” in several countries in sub-Saharan Africa.
According to the report, in countries such as Ethiopia Christians are denied the resources of the community, which is mainly composed of Muslims. These minorities are excluded from society, making it difficult to provide them with help or support.
Jo Newhouse, Open Doors’s spokeswoman for sub-Saharan Africa, said, “We are only at the dawn of the unfolding of this pandemic in this part of Africa. There are many causes for concern for Christian minorities, like the economic impact of continued violence against Christians amid lockdowns, marginalization of Christians, especially [converts], and Christians being blamed to have caused the virus.”
The charity’s warnings come at a time when International Christian Concern issued a report to the Nigerian government for failing to “stem the tide of violence, killings, and kidnappings” by militant groups.
The terrorist organization Boko Haram has been known for its attacks on communities and its hostilities amid the coronavirus pandemic have not ceased. Recently several religious leaders established 21 days of fasting and prayers seeking divine intervention to stop the coronavirus and also to contain the threat of the fundamentalist group.
Other groups such as the nomadic population of Fulani have also carried out attacks against Christians and in recent years have destroyed at least 1,500 churches, according to reports.
As Express Uk notes, Baroness de Cox of the Humanitarian Aid Relief Trust, one of the UK’s leading activists for persecuted Christians, called on the British government to “demand answers as to why the Nigerian government is failing to act to protect civilians.”
The organization also urged the government to “assess how British aid to Nigeria is distributed and ensure that more is spent on measures to counter this persecution rather than handing over money to ministers and officials in central Nigeria who are sitting idly by.”
The Nigerian Foreign Office said, “We regularly raise our concerns about freedom of religion or belief with governments across the world, including Nigeria.”
“We have been clear in our commitment to supporting persecuted Christians globally, as well as members of other faiths and beliefs, and have pledged to implement all of the Bishop of Truro’s recommendations in his recent report on this topic,” added a representative for the Nigerian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.