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04/22/2021 India (International Christian Concern) – As the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) launched its 2021 report with a list of recommendations for Countries of Particular Concern (CPC) and Special Watch List (SWL), Indian press responded with varied criticism of the commission and its report.

Some outlets touted conspiracy theories about Islamist outfits penetrating USCIRF, claiming that Islamist influence was somehow behind USCIRF’s recommendation that the US State Department list India as a CPC for its systematic and ongoing violations of religious freedom.

This is the second year that the bipartisan commission has recommended India be designated as a CPC. The report offered ample evidence showing increasing levels of persecution against Christians, Muslims, and other religious minorities in India. USCIRF’s work is grounded in thorough research and fact-filled reporting on the realities of religious freedom around the world.

Although the recommendation for CPC was not adopted by the Trump administration last year, the Biden administration will consider the recommendation and make its determination by the end of the year. Many organizations hope that Biden will choose to stand with the religious minorities of India and make the CPC designation for India.

ICC’s Advocacy Director, Matias Perttula, said, “Regardless of the official designation, USCIRF’s report is enough to enrage segments of the Indian press grasping for conspiratorial explanations for the recommendation rather than exploring the facts of the matter which clearly indicate that USCIRF has solid factual grounds on which to make its CPC recommendation to the Biden administration.”

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