Onize Ohikere

Onize is WORLD's Africa reporter. She is a World Journalism Institute graduate and earned a journalism degree from Minnesota State University-Moorhead. Onize resides in Abuja, Nigeria. Follow her on Twitter @onize_ohiks.

Associated Press/Photo by Bilal Hussei

Southern Baptists plan religious liberty office in Middle East

Persecution
by Onize Ohikere
Posted 6/22/15, 08:04 am

Christians in some parts of the Middle East have three options: move elsewhere, become Muslim, or pay the expensive Christian tax known as jizya.

As Nina Shea, a religious freedom expert with the Hudson Institute explained, the cost of not complying is high. 

“A family fleeing Nineveh, they couldn’t pay, and [the militants] took their 3-year-old daughter,” Shea said.

In response to the persecution, the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC) of the Southern Baptist Convention is establishing its first freedom office in the region.

Read more

Associated Press/Photo by Andrew Harnik

Legislative conference touts greater need for religious liberty

Politics
by Onize Ohikere
Posted 6/19/15, 09:55 am

WASHINGTON—With the passing of several state laws protecting religious liberty and the upcoming U.S. Supreme Court decision on gay marriage, three Republican presidential candidates had one central theme at a Thursday conference organized by the Faith and Freedom Coalition.

“Religious liberty has never been more threatened in America,” said Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, amid assertive hums from the audience. “I believe 2016 will be the religious liberty election.”

Read more

Associated Press/Photo by Carolyn Kaster, File

Concerns over Iran nuclear agreement on the rise

Foreign Policy
by Onize Ohikere
Posted 6/18/15, 05:00 pm

WASHINGTON—As the Obama administration continues to deliberate its nuclear agreement with Iran, some lawmakers from the House Committee on Foreign Affairs expressed concern about whether the Islamic nation’s leaders will abide by the provisions. 

The agreement set up in April stipulates Iran will get rid of about 98 percent of its stockpile of uranium, retaining only 300 kilograms. In return, the country will receive substantial sanctions relief.

Read more