In the Name of Religion - A Program for Nigerian and Sudanese Journalists to Help Citizens Overcome Barriers to Religious Freedom

The International Center for Journalists (ICFJ) presents this program to focus on religious freedom in Nigeria and Sudan –two of four African countries that the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom considers “of particular concern” because of the precarious state of religious freedom.

ICFJ has enlisted two trusted African partners. Code for Africa (C4A),the continent’s civic technology pioneer,sparks the use of open data and digital tools by media and NGOs to better engage citizens. ICFJ incubated C4A within its flagship program, the ICFJ Knight Fellowships. The second partner, Ayin, is a network of Sudanese journalists serving Sudan and the region with independent news about the realities of their troubled and divided country.

We will pool our respective strengths to train and link Nigerian and Sudanese journalists to illuminate issues of religious freedom across borders –also illustrating them with examples of tolerance and coexistence. We will help these journalists to use accessible and affordable technology, developed by ICFJ and C4A, to engage audiences over the issues they report. Doing this, they will spark deeper and better-informed public discourse, not only within national boundaries but across the region, building greater determination among individuals of good will to live with one another and to influence public policy for the better. Nigerians, Sudanese and other Africans will become better informed about the roots of the religious extremism that roil their countries and pose an international security threat.

About the Program

The program offers a combination of virtual in-person trainings, mentorship and grant opportunities to Nigerian and Sudanese journalists.

Our key activities will be:

  • Series of four online workshops and two in-person trainings serving a total of 72 journalists.
  • Three-month cycles of mentored reporting of religious freedom stories illuminating problems and solutions,featuring new dimensions such as multimedia and data to engage audiences.
  • Reporting grants for program participants.
  • Promotion and featuring of stories in major African media for heightened impact.
  • Training of program’s top performers from Nigeria and Sudan to plan coverage of regional issues in religious freedom and to form a nucleus of continued cross-border cooperation.
Program Dates:
7/16/2020 - 10/31/2023
Program Type
In-Country Program
Online Course