“We are extremely disappointed by the Indian Government’s denial of Indian Visa”. – Robert George, chairman USCIRF.
Increasing intolerance in India is gradually attracting the US commission on International Religious Freedom to visit the country. The Constitution declared India as a secular country with people from different faiths and diverse backgrounds. In the initial days of independence, the secular status has been maintained but gradually the situation is seen deteriorating in the country. BJP and its hindutva wings like RSS, Sriram sena, Bajrang Dal are attacking Christians and damaging their properties including churches. They are gone further and threatened Christians to stop the gospel.
All the more, the ‘Hindu Dharma Parishad’ is demanding the government to withdraw the subsidies for holy land tours to Israel, reservations and benefits. They started a movement force these Christians to return to Hindutva.
When country is secular, why should some religions force sentiments on food habits on other religions? i.e. imposing ban on Beef etc. by some BJP ruled states and divide the country based on food habits.
The constitution has given Right to every religion to propagate their faiths and religious beliefs. However, these Hindutva organizations are denying the rights of Christians to share the Gospel in the country. Several pastors have been killed in both telugu states and churches have been damaged.
With above narrations, we can say that religious freedom has been curtailed. Many Christian NGO’s and their funds have been ceased and Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA) has been kept as a road block and harassing them by quoting that these NGOs are working against Modi government.
The BJP spokespersons are delivering statements against secularism and prompting the left wings to forcibly bring Christians and Muslims to Hindutva and want to keep a check on reservations for Christians and Minorities. These incidents have been brought to USICRF notice and this US commission wanted to visit India to check these claims.
But unfortunately, the Indian Government has denied the Visas bluntly, as the USCIRF chairman Robert George expressed his dissatisfaction over the denial. He said when countries like Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Iran, Yemen & Nigeria have welcomed the commission. He said, When India is proud of being the world’s largest democracy deny the visa to the commission, He questioned?
It’s time that Christians, human rights organizations, secular political parties, intellectuals & religious leaders come forward to bring pressure on union government to issue visa to USCIRF to safeguard our rights to religious freedom.