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Nigeria court grants teen girl restraining order over death threats from father and brothers for apostasy



An 18-year-old Nigerian Christian convert has been granted a court order protecting her from her father and brothers, who have been threatening to kill her for leaving the Islamic religion.

Identified by the pseudonym Mary Olowe, the woman was smuggled to safety in a Christian community by her mother, according to Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) International, the religious freedom organization that assisted in the case.

Following the threats, Olowe and her mother sought a restraining order against the father and brothers. ADF International announced the Nigerian high court’s order on Friday.

The order said that “the defendants are hereby restrained from threat and attempt on the life of the applicant following her decision to change from the practice of Islam to Christianity and also not to breach her fundamental rights as to the choice of her religion or thoughts.”

The ruling was not appealed, according to ADF International.

“We are relieved that Mary has found protection from these credible threats and that the court recognized her fundamental right to convert from Islam to Christianity,” Sean Nelson, legal counsel for ADF International, said in a statement Friday.

“This is an important decision that we pray will help others facing threats to their lives only because they came to believe in Christ,” he said.

Nelson said that no one should be persecuted for their faith, adding that Nigerian Christian converts from Islam often are targeted and discriminated against for their change in religion….

The Nigerian constitution has no official state religion and provides for religious freedom, according to the U.S. State Department’s 2022 Report on International Religious Freedom in Nigeria….

According to ADF International, 5,500 Christians were killed for their faith last year across the globe and Nigerians constituted 90% of those deaths….