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Obama asked to press for religious rights while meeting PM Singh

ICC Note

“India is the world’s largest democracy and home to a multitude of religious communities that have historically coexisted peacefully; however, the Indian government has failed to bring the perpetrators and instigators of sectarian violence to justice,”

By Rahul Benjamin

11/25/2009 India (Christian Today India)-As US President Barack Obama hosts his first official state visit of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, human rights groups have called for the inclusion of religious freedom in the discussions between the leaders of two largest democracies.

The United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF), in its Nov. 20 letter, urged President Obama to speak on the “culture of impunity for perpetrators of violence against religious groups in India, and to prevent future incidents of sectarian violence against religious minorities.”

“India is the world’s largest democracy and home to a multitude of religious communities that have historically coexisted peacefully; however, the Indian government has failed to bring the perpetrators and instigators of sectarian violence to justice,” Leonard Leo, the chair of USCIRF, stated in the letter.

Voices For Freedom, another leading human rights group, in its memorandum to President Obama, condemned the last year’s violence against Christians in Orissa and apprised that thousands still languish in relief camps. “This is just another example of India ’s failure to provide justice to religious minorities,” it mentioned.

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