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AFRICA: Making Pawns of the Persecuted

U.S. and Communist China’s Play for Power in Nigeria puts Christians At Risk

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Leaders from all over Africa will gather at the U.S. State Department in Washington, D.C. December 13-15 at the invitation of the White House for the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit to, “build on our shared values to better: Foster new economic engagement; Advance peace, security, and good governance; Reinforce commitment to democracy, human rights, and civil society; Work collaboratively to strengthen regional and global health security; Promote food security; Respond to the climate crisis; Amplify diaspora ties; Promote education and youth leadership.”

In advance of the Summit, Save the Persecuted Christians experts invite members of the press and public to a webinar Thursday, Nov. 17 at 4:30 pm ET to examine geopolitical pressure points subverting human rights and religious freedom in Nigeria.

Last November before traveling to Africa, Secretary of State Antony Blinken unexpectedly and without explanation or justification removed Nigeria from the U.S. State Department’s list of “countries of particular concern” which designates nations guilty of particularly severe violations of religious freedom under the International Religious Freedom Act (IRFA) of 1998. Human rights advocates decried the shocking reversal as a political deal meant to counter growing Chinese influence and improve U.S. relations with the Buhari regime.

“What’s missing from the agenda is a firm commitment to address ongoing, extreme, religious-based violence and terrorism in Nigeria and elsewhere in Africa’s Sahel, where Muslim bandit gangs and Fulani terrorist have killed thousands of mostly Christian farmers this year,” said Dede Laugesen, executive director for Save the Persecuted Christians. “It is clear that victims of religious violence have become pawns in a political power struggle between the U.S. and China for influence in Africa.

“We expect dubious climate concerns, deals for oil, and other geopolitical issues will suppress and overshadow any action on these critical concerns. The United States must insist Nigerian leaders restore stability and security. We must hold the Buhari regime accountable for allowing religious violence to rage across the land. And, Congress must investigate where hundreds of millions of U.S. aid intended to support the military’s anti-terrorism efforts and assist millions of internally displaced people reportedly languishing in open-air camps without Nigerian federal government assistance has gone. The result of Nigeria’s religious insecurity is loss of opportunity, extreme poverty, unemployment, and the radicalization of the nation’s youth. Failure to address these root issues will only serve to frustrate Nigeria’s dream to maximize its potential on the world stage and invite Communist China—the world’s worst human rights abuser—to manifest its malevolent agenda in Africa.”


  • Frank Gaffney: President and CEO, Save the Persecuted Christians; Executive Chairman, Center for Security Policy; Vice-Chair, Committee on the Present Danger: China


  • Dr. Sayo Ajiboye: Founder & President, Mission Africa International ( – Topic: “Geopolitical Games are Subverting the Cause for Persecuted Christians in Nigeria”
  • Rev. Polycarp Gbaja: Chairman, Stride Leadership Foundation Abuja Nigeria; Senior Pastor, TheStrongHouse Abuja – Topic: “Religious violence or ‘Farmer Herder Disputes’ –What’s Behind Nigeria’s Endless Violence?”
  • Douglas Burton: Independent journalist; Mentor, Rural Watch Nigeria; Contributor, The Epoch Times; Contributor: Catholic News Agency (CAN) – Topic: “When Terror Stikes, America and its Allies are Mute”
  • Se Hoon Kim: Director, Captive Nations Coalition of the Committee on the Present Danger: China ( – Topic: “The CCP’s New Imperialism Raping Africa’s Resources and Polluting its Lands”
  • Faith McDonnell: Director of Advocacy, Kartartismos Global ( – Topic: Willful Blindness in Nigeria: U.S. and C.C.P. Politics, Greed, and Corruption Result in Calculated Disregard for Christian Genocide
  • Dede Laugesen: Executive Director, Save the Persecuted Christians; Executive Secretary, Committee on the Present Danger: China – Topic: “What Must be Done to Counter the CCP in Africa while Upholding America’s Legal Commitment to Promote and Defend Religious Freedom”


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