ICC calls out India, Nepal for criminalizing Christians
A Christian human rights group is expressing frustration that India’s prime minister is downplaying concerns about religious freedom.
In the country of Nepal, meanwhile, there are concerns that the country’s constitution is being used to arrest Christians.
Many U.S. leaders discussed human rights and religious freedom issues in India during Prime Minister Modi’s visit earlier this month to Washington, D.C. But instead of taking the issues head on, Will Stark of International Christian Concern says the Modi administration decided to deflect and downplay these discussions.
“You have the prime minister who’s not even willing to specifically condemn incidents of religious persecution,” Stark complains. “He will not go publically and say this is wrong.”
Following a visit with President Obama, a Modi spokesman denied that human rights came up during the meeting, contradicting a statement made by an Obama spokesman.
“It just kind of shows that India wants to ignore or pretend that human rights is a problem in India,” says Stark.
The statistics say otherwise. There were 147 recorded incidents of Christian persecution in 2014 and 356 in 2015.
“This year we’re already at a 115 total for the year,” Stark tells OneNewsNow, “and that’s just the reports we can verify in the media.”
In the country of Nepal, ICC is reporting that seven Christians were arrested June 9 for distributing Bible handbooks to students.
In 2015, Stark says, the country adopted a constitution that makes it illegal to attempt to convert anyone to another religion.
Some statistics show Christianity is the fastest-growing religion in Nepal according to ICC, and the new article in the constitution was pushed by a Hindu nationalist.