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India Receives a Hall Pass Despite Sharp Increase in Persecution

12/09/2020 Washington, D.C. (International Christian Concern) – In accordance with the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998, the Department of State must make official “Country of Particular Concern” (CPC) designations every year. This year, the main addition was Nigeria, whose government has continued to either ignore or do very little to counter the religiously motivated violence in the country targeting Christians. Boko Haram and other militant groups continue to pursue an agenda of extreme violence as a way of persecuting Christians.

India, on the other hand, was missing from the list despite being recommended for inclusion on the CPC list by the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom. Decades of growing Hindu supremacy in India and the rise of a radical agenda to eradicate all religious minorities and make the country a solely Hindu nation have produced an uptick in radical violence against Christians. The failure to make the official CPC designation in India was met with sharp criticism from various stakeholders.

John Prabhudoss, Chairman of the Federation of Indian American Christian Organizations of North America, said, We are extremely disappointed about the unwillingness of the Trump White House to see the obvious, and actively block India from being designated as a CPC despite overwhelming developments there. The State Department has tried similar approaches in China, Pakistan, Burma, and other places before. Such policies did not work in the past elsewhere and it will not work in India. Current policy will only help worsen the situation in India.”

India’s continued downward trend has been fueled by violent rhetoric from local, regional, and national leaders in India. Many of these leaders are from the RSS, an extremist organization, and the BJP, the ruling political party led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. They join in denigrating India’s religious minorities and calling for their removal.

India uses various legal structures, including blasphemy laws and anti-forced conversion laws, as tools of oppression to continue the persecution of Christians. ICC has documented numerous cases throughout the years that reveal the reality of oppression in India and has observed a sharp increase in incidents since Prime Minister Modi took office in 2014.[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text css=”.vc_custom_1607514809538{margin-bottom: 0px !important;}”]

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