Washington, D.C – FIACONA
December 8, 2020. Washington, D.C – The Federation of Indian American Christian Organizations of North America (FIACONA), an advocacy group that promotes religious freedom, expressed its deep disappointment with the U.S. Administration for their lack of resolve in naming India to the “Countries of Particular Concern” (CPCs).
Although the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom has recommended in their 2020 Annual Report to place India on the CPC list, the Trump Administration appeared to lack the political will.
The USCIRF report cited that in 2019, India’s religious freedom conditions experienced a drastic turn downward, with religious minorities under increasing assault. The national government allowed violence against minorities and their houses of worship to continue with impunity and engaged in and tolerated hate speech and incitement to violence.
The Indian government headed by the Hindu nationalist BJP party continues to claim so conveniently that all such violence against Christians in India are isolated incidents and not the policy of the government.
While it may not be the policy of the Indian government, it is public knowledge that it is the policy of Prime Minister Modi’s Hindu nationalist political party in power.
The Trump administration that showboats its advocacy for religious freedom in America, especially on behalf of Christians, appears to have thrown the religious freedom of Indian Christians and other minorities under the bus in India. Only time will tell what has motivated President Trump to instruct the State Department to keep India’s violations of fundamental human rights off the table during his entire term in office. FIACONA strongly disagrees with the President in his misplaced decision yesterday.
FIACONA also hopes that the incoming Biden administration would take a closer look at India’s record in this regard and respond appropriately.
However, FIACONA is encouraged to see that the State Department has added Nigeria to the CPC list and expresses our deep appreciation to the USCIRF for their recommendations.