Niger Frustrated with France’s Recent Travel Warning; Lack of Security Makes Ministry Difficult for Christians

Image courtesy of Open Doors USA.

People in Niger are angry, Macau Business reports, following a French travel warning issued earlier this month. Travel warnings affect tourism and, as one of the world’s poorest countries, Niger can’t afford any economic loss.

“Niger is a fragile state,” says Open Doors’ senior analyst Illia Djadi. “The country is doing its best to deal with the Islamist insurgencies [and] the consequences of the COVID pandemic. [The travel warning adds] more pressure on the whole community; namely, the religious minority.”

France issued the warning after an August 9 terror attack that left six French aid workers and two locals dead. Five days later, the French Prime Minister likened the violence to a 2015 terrorist attack in Paris that killed more than 100 people

Many Nigeriens view the travel advisory as an exaggeration and betrayal. “[France is] basically saying, ‘Niger is a difficult country. You can’t go to Niger.’ That’s the message,” Djadi summarizes.

“That’s why the Nigeriens are shocked by this warning coming from France, which is a key ally in the fight against Islamist insurgency in Niger and the rest of the Sahara.”

The real story in Niger

Muslim-majority Niger has few believers. Pray they won’t suffer loss from these political developments. “Pray for all this; for the Christians, even though they are a minority, to continue to exercise their faith freely,” Djadi requests.

“Christians form a tiny minority, but the Constitution guarantees the freedom of religion so [there is] a clear separation between political power and religion.”

More about the state of Christianity in Niger here.

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SOURCE: Mission Network News, Katey Hearth

CALL TO ACTION

  • Pray Nigerien Christians won’t suffer loss from these political developments.
  • Pray for continued stability in Niger and ministry opportunities.