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(ANS) – The US Department of State announced today that it will deny a visa to one of the world’s most notorious violators of religious freedom, Chief Minister of Gujarat Narendra Modi, according to information received by ASSIST News Service (ANS). Facing pressure from the Institute on Religion and Public Policy and numerous other groups who signed on to a letter circulated by the Institute to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and from more than 20 Members of Congress led by Representative Joseph Pitts (R-PA), the State Department denied Mr. Modi an entry visa and upheld President Bush’s commitment to protect freedom and democracy worldwide. Mr. Modi was to be the chief guest of the 2005 Annual Convention and Trade Show of the Asian American Hotel Owners Association in Ft. Lauderdale , FL to be held on March 24-26 and had a scheduled speech at Madison Square Garden on March 20th. “It is a historic day for those of us committed to protecting freedom of religion globally,” commented Joseph K. Grieboski, Institute President. “Denying Mr. Modi’s visa is an ideal application of the International Religious Freedom Act. Denying entry into the US of this man whose actions lead to the deaths of thousands solely because of their religious beliefs sends an explicit message to oppressive regimes everywhere.”

To read the full story, click here: STATE DEPARTMENT BARS GUJARAT CHIEF MINISTER FROM ENTRY INTO THE US FOR SEVERE VIOLATIONS OF RELIGIOUS FREEDOM