President Trump Discusses Concerns Over Religious Freedom in India with Prime Minister Modi
02/26/2020 India (International Christian Concern) – During a news conference shortly before concluding a two-day state visit to India, President Donald Trump said that he brought up the issues of religious freedom and the status of religious minorities in his discussions with India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi. This came in response to questions about the Citizenship Amendment Act, a law passed by Prime Minister Modi’s government that many say discriminates against Muslims.
While President Trump seemed to sidestep questions about the Citizenship Amendment Act, he did say that he had confronted Prime Minister Modi in private about concerns over religious freedom and the treatment of religious minorities.
“We did discuss that, and we discussed that and specifically Muslims,” President Trump told the media. “And we also discussed Christians, and I had a very powerful answer from the Prime Minister. We talked about religious liberty for a long period of time in front of a lot of people. And I had a very, very powerful answer.”
In response to this news, leaders from the Federation of Indian Christian Organizations in North America (FIACONA) welcomed President Trump’s statement.
“Although we lack any substance from their discussions, we are encouraged to see that the President took the opportunity to include the issue of religious freedom as a priority item at these important bi-lateral discussions with Prime Minister Modi,” Koshy George, President of FIACONA, said in a released statement. “We truly hope that the Modi administration would respond positively to the concerns expressed by the President that would be in the best interest of the country.”
Whether President Trump’s discussions with Prime Minister Modi will curb the escalating levels of religious intolerance and anti-minority violence in India remains to be seen.
In the days leading up to President Trump’s state visit, Internationals Christian Concern (ICC) documented at least 12 incidents of anti-Christian violence across four states in India. While the majority of these incidents were perpetrated by radical Hindu nationalists, some of the Bharatiya Janata Party’s staunchest supporters, several incidents were also perpetrated by police authorities.
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