India Continues Downward Trend in US Religious Freedom Report

12/15/2018 India (International Christian Concern) – India continued on a downward trend in regards to religious freedom according to the U.S. State Department’s 2018 report on international religious freedom. The report claimed that the country’s multicultural and multi-religious society continues to be threatened by growing radical Hindu nationalist forces.

According to the report, nationalist groups in India have adopted the ideology of Hindutva which advocates for the establishment of India as a Hindu nation. Under this ideology, the rights of Hindus should be superior those of other religions because India is the homeland of Hinduism.

Since the current BJP-led government took power in 2014, attacks on religious minorities, including Christians, have skyrocketed. In 2014, the Evangelical Fellowship of India (EFI) documented 147 instances of religiously motivated violence against Christians in India. In 2017, after three years of BJP rule, that number of instances documented by EFI jumped to 351.

Much of the rise in violence is traced back to the BJP’s Hindu nationalist political platform. Using religiously divisive rhetoric for political gain, BJP officials often incite existing Hindu radical groups to action with the result being attacks on minorities.

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