US Asks Indian Govt to Protect Religious Freedom

September 26, 2008

Author: Staff Writer

Source: India Journal

Taking note of the recent violence against the Christian community in India, the U.S. has asked the Indian government to protect the religious freedom throughout the country.

“We urge all parties to refrain from violence and urge government officials to protect religious freedom throughout India and thus preserve India’s longstanding tradition of religious tolerance,” said Ambassador at Large for International Religious Freedom, John Hanford.

He made the remarks while presenting the 10th Annual State Department Report on International Religious Freedom, which is mandated every year by the United States Congress.

“Despite the central government’s efforts to foster communal harmony, we have seen more violence against Christians in the state of Orissa, where religious factors, combined with underlying social, economic, and ethnic grievances, have sparked unrest, just in the past few weeks,” Hanford said.

He said “we are also concerned about the killing of a prominent Hindu religious leader that sparked the recent unrest in the state.”