A Christian mother of five in Nigeria has been granted bail and is safe in an undisclosed location after being charged with blasphemy.
Rhoda Jatau had been incarcerated 19 months for allegedly sharing a video on WhatsApp that the prosecution claims is a violation of Nigeria’s blasphemy laws, states Alliance Defending Freedom International, which is supporting Jatau’s legal defense. The video condemned the death of Deborah Emmanuel Yakubu, a Christian student killed and set on fire by classmates at a Nigerian university for sharing her faith in May 2022.
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Since being imprisoned, Jatau had been denied bail numerous times and had not been allowed to communicate. ADF International says Jatau received only sporadic access to counsel and to family members while in court.
Her trial resumed Dec. 19. If convicted, she could be sentenced to as much as five years in prison.
ADF International says persecution of Christians worldwide claimed more than 5,500 lives in 2022. “Of those, 90% were Nigerian.”
According to the group Open Doors, which monitors persecution, Nigeria ranks No. 6 on the list of the top 50 places where it is most difficult to be a Christian.