India rejects U.S. report on persecution

By May 5, 2015
(Photo of Narendra Modi courtesy Wikimedia Commons)

(Photo of Narendra Modi courtesy Wikimedia Commons)

India (MNN) — India takes exception to a U.S. government panel report connecting the 2014 general election results to a spike in persecution of religious minorities.

“It really does seem that religious freedom has taken a hit under the Modi administration,” observes Todd Nettleton, a spokesman for the Voice of the Martyrs USA. “The fact that India responded so aggressively to the report shows their desire to appear, within the international community, that they’re not persecuting Christians.”Nettleton goes on to explain that the details are from the 2015 Annual Report from the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF). “It is basically recommendations which then go to the State Department, and the State Department makes the final decisions about what to do with the report.”

The law that created this Commission actually authorizes the administration to go to the point of sanctions or go to the point of taking steps against these countries which have severely violated religious freedoms. Once the USCIRF issues its report, says Nettleton, “The teeth come with the State Department. If they go ahead and follow through with all of these recommendations, that really does put some teeth behind it and potentially, then it goes to the Executive Branch.”

2000px-USCIRF-Logo.svgAccording to the report, minority religious groups, such as Christians, have been subject to “numerous violent attacks and forced conversions by Hindu nationalist groups, such as RSS and VHP.” That claim was vigorously disputed by India’s External Affairs department.

Nettleton says, from their understanding of what’s happening on the ground, India should have been designated as a Country of Particular Concern: places where particularly severe violations of religious freedom are occurring. However, “They’re listed among what this report calls the ‘Tier 2’ countries, which don’t rise to the level of Countries of Particular Concern…. I honestly think India could have, particularly as we’ve seen an increase in the attacks and persecution since Prime Minister Modi took power last year.” It means India joins seven other countries being put on a watch list for problems but not quite earning the CPC designation (Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Cuba, India, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Laos, Malaysia, Russia, and Turkey).

(Photo courtesy Wikipedia)

(Photo courtesy Wikipedia)

The USCIRF made six recommendations to the U.S. government to address these issues (Read them here). In the meantime, Nettleton says even with the ongoing oppression, followers of Christ are trusting God. “They know as they do ministry, as they do outreach, they understand the fact that they can be targeted for that. It makes them think, it makes them more faithful in prayer and understanding that their times are in God’s hands.”

Theirs is a story of bewildering hope. Why bewildering? In spite of the pressure, they’re still sharing their stories about what Jesus Christ has done in their lives. Instead of doing what you’d expect–being silenced, they’re more confident. That confidence inspires hope in the God they serve. “Pray for encouragement, that they will not grow weary in the work that God has called them to do. I think we need to pray for protection. The government is not protecting them, so we need to pray that the Lord will protect them.”

3 Comments

  • Pat says:

    The faith followers of Christ in India are in God’s hands. Their faith and obedience to God is their armor. God is with them! Who can be (successfully) against them? May they know, deeply, His peace and the love that casts out fear. JESUS is LORD!

  • Josely says:

    Romans 8:28-
    For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.

    30 Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.

    31 What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?

    32 He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?

    33 Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth.

    34 Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.

    35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?

    36 As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.

    37 Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.

    38 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,

    39 Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
    Praying for the Indian Christian believers. The same god who transformed the hearts of so many from idol worshiping and nominal Christianity including my own great grandparents will sustain them in their persecution. May the name of the Lord be glorified

  • Samuel john says:

    He is mighty GOD,who belongs to GOD also mighty believe all friends in Christ Jesus Like mind of Christ.We all Christians must come on one platform for PRAY TO GOD through the CHRIST JESUS as He says in BIBLE.because we are all belongs to JESUS. INDIA people not oppose CHRISTIANITY but who living in them are ENEMY of GOD .The people of INDIA not only but all the world people are Know the Christ Jesus then only Follow HIM and get salvation.All the Christian in India must taught them to your Niebuhr about JESUS CHRIST only SAVIOR and way to heaven.JESUS waiting for them with stretch HIS hands to come to HIM.Let us pray that all the world people not to perish but to SAVE.

Leave a Reply