The US is increasingly concerned about religious freedom in India
At an annual event on Monday in Washington, D.C., Secretary of State Antony Blinken spoke alongside Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom Rashad Hussain to highlight religious persecution around the world.
The event also served as a launch for the 2022 Report on International Religious Freedom (IRF), a report widely considered among the most authoritative sources on the topic of religious persecution.
Prior to the event, a senior Dept. of State official briefed reporters via conference call. Among other points, the official highlighted the persecution of religious minorities in India, including “lynching and other hate-fueled violence, attacks on houses of worship and home demolitions, and in some cases impunity and even clemency for those who’ve engaged in attacks on religious minorities.”
Local Indian authorities so consistently fail the bring persecutors to justice that many attackers film their attacks, even livestreaming them on social media.
The U.S. has engaged with the Indian government on the issue of persecution for years. In September 2022, the Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia met with Indian government officials “to encourage positive messaging on pluralism and tolerance and respecting human rights, including religious freedom,” according to the 2022 IRF report. Other officials met with civil society leaders and members of persecuted religious minorities to understand their situation more thoroughly.