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India’s Leading News Outlets Report on US Congressional Letter to Prime Minister Modi

3/1/2016 Washington D.C., (International Christian Concern) – A bi-cameral, bi-partisan, US Congressional letter addressed to Prime Minister Modi signed by eight senators and 24 congressmen requesting a strong and specific condemnation of religious persecution has grabbed headlines throughout the international press, and particularly Indian outlets. The letter was written after extensive efforts by International Christian Concern (ICC) to raise this issue on Capitol Hill.

The letter was sent on Friday, February, 26 to Prime Minister Modi of India requesting that he strongly and specifically condemn acts of religious persecution that have been perpetrated on religious minorities in his country and to uphold the rule of law. The letter follows a noted rise in persecution under President Modi that has been linked to followers of his party (BJP).

The story of the Congressional letter was picked up by India’s leading newspapers including the Times of India, the International Business Times UK, The Hindu, and the Hindustan Times.  It is hoped that the Indian media’s attention may serve to increase awareness of this issue and put more pressure on Prime Minister Modi and the BJP to address persecution of religious minorities in their country.

ICC would note that although India’s constitution is meant to guarantee freedom of religion, enforcement of this constitutional right has been clearly lacking.  While India’s Ministry of External Affairs has called instances of religious intolerance “aberrations,” a group of human rights organizations in India has documented over 600 instances in just 10 months from May 2014 to March 2015, and ICC has documented many more since the release of that report.  The need for immediate action by the government is clear and the danger to India’s religious minorities is present.

Nate Lance, ICC’s Advocacy Manager, stated, “ICC is pleased to see that this Congressional action is receiving deserved attention from the international media and especially in India.  It our hope and prayer that this increase in awareness of the suffering of religious minorities is of comfort to these victims but also acts as a catalyst for meaningful action by the Indian government secure the right of all Indians to worship freely without fear of violence or discrimination.” 

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