Indian Diplomat Ignores U.S. Congressmembers’ Concerns about Religious Freedom

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Manipur province Manipur, July 28.– A brutal video depicting the assaults of two women from the Kuki-Zo tribe — consisting mainly of Christians — in the Manipur region of India made global headlines this month. The women were dragged around naked before being sexually assaulted by men from the Meitei community.

The international attention forced Prime Minister Narendra Modi — who notoriously denies there is religious persecution in India — to finally break his silence about the ongoing violence in Manipur, saying, “What has happened to the daughters of Manipur can never be forgiven.” The silence from the Prime Minister up until this disastrous point shows the unfortunate trend of Indian officials downplaying the widespread violations of religious freedom that take place in India.

Kuki Tribes of ManipurRepresentative Eli Crane (R-Ariz.) knows the grave reality of religious freedom conditions in India well and visited officials from the Indian embassy in Washington D.C. to raise the issue with Indian diplomats. He recounted the story on “Washington Watch” with Tony Perkins this week, saying that he and Rep. Anna Paulina Luna (R-Fla.) “brought in the deputy chief of mission of India into my office to talk about religious persecution. And I can tell you, that meeting did not go well at all. [The deputy chief of mission of the Indian embassy] completely denied the context and the premise of the concern that we were raising about religious persecution …

Christian protest in IndiaThis is a disappointing reaction from Indian diplomats, but not altogether unexpected. Indian officials have recently been so bold as to push back on the idea that there is serious religious conflict in India, even amid deadly clashes in Manipur. Indian officials loudly opposed a resolution from the European Parliament, which advocated for India to protect religious groups from violence in the region.
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