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ICC Note:

US lawmakers recently send a letter to India’s Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, over increased violence and intolerance being experienced by the country’s religious minority communities. According to the Catholic Secular Forum’s annual report, India saw a 20% increase in religiously motivated violence against the Christian community in 2015. In total, members of India’s Christian community suffered 365 reported attacks in 2015. That made 2015 the worst year on record for India’s Christian community. With this recent letter, will India start taking steps to correct the trend of increasing intolerance? 

2/29/2016 India (The Hindu) – The letter from U.S. lawmakers to Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the “increasing intolerance and violence experienced by members of religious minority communities” comes against the backdrop of the Centre’s unprecedented stifling of political dissent, increasingly a talking point in the U.S capital.

“On June 17, 2014, more than 50 village councils in Bastar district of Chhattisgarh adopted a resolution banning all “non-Hindu religious propaganda, prayers, and speeches” in their communities. The Christian minority community has been dramatically affected: the ban effectively has criminalized the practice of Christianity for an estimated 300 Christian families in the region one day after a mob, which included members of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad and Bajrang Dal, seriously injured six Christians in the village of Sirciguda. Since the ban was implemented, Christians in Bastar district reportedly have been subjected to physical assaults, denial of government services, extortion, threats of forced expulsion, denial of access to food and water, and pressure to convert to Hinduism,” the letter said.

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