The United States is aiding Nigeria in its security efforts by providing police, as well as training in forensics and investigative measures, Carson said, according to VOA.
"The U.S. policy right now is that more money needs to be given to the Muslims to de-radicalize them" because of poverty, said Emmanuel Ogebe of the U.S. Nigeria Law Group at the July 12 briefing.
FTO designation requires an organization's activity be a threat to U.S. security or that of U.S. nationals. In January, James Clapper, director of National Intelligence, said in congressional testimony there are fears Boko Haram "is interested in hitting Western targets, such as the U.S. Embassy and hotels frequented by Westerners."
Problems between Christians and Muslims have existed in Nigeria for more than 50 years, Oritsejafor said at the briefing. They are rooted in such causes as land disputes and the sharing of government power, according to Open Doors News.
Christians make up at least 60 percent of the population, but there has been a "lot of discrimination" against them, Oritsejafor told briefing participants.
"The Christians in Nigeria have not been given credit for the fact that they have not retaliated," Ogebe said.
Nigeria is Africa's most populous country with about 170 million people. It also is the continent's No. 1 oil producer.
The ERLC letter went to representatives who had yet to cosponsor H.R. 5822 and are members of the Judiciary Committee, the International Religious Freedom Caucus or a Southern Baptist church. Rep. Patrick Meehan, R-Pa., is the bill's sponsor.
Tom Strode is Washington bureau chief for Baptist Press. Get Baptist Press headlines and breaking news on Twitter (@BaptistPress), Facebook (Facebook.com/BaptistPress ) and in your email ( baptistpress.com/SubscribeBP.asp).
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