03/08/2021 United States (International Christian Concern) – Freedom House, a well-known think tank, has downgraded India’s freedom status from “Free” to “Partly Free.” The decision came as a result of India’s deteriorating human rights record. The decline of human rights in India has been widely reported by various watchdog organizations and news outlets, including International Christian Concern (ICC). Freedom House is a leading think tank based in Washington, D.C. and monitors global changes in freedom at the country level in its annual Freedom in the World report.
The new report is welcomed by observers like ICC, who have seen religious minorities in India face growing levels of persecution. Matias Perttula, Director of Advocacy at ICC, said, “At International Christian Concern, we welcome Freedom House’s downgrade of India to only “Partly Free” as reflective of the overwhelming evidence indicating that India is moving toward a less free society. Christians and other religious minorities are facing increasing difficulty and discrimination because of their faith. India needs reform and must work to ensure freedom and liberty for all its religious minorities.”
Since Prime Minister Modi and his BJP political allies took power in 2014, persecution against Christians has risen significantly. Other religious minorities continue to face increasing persecution as well, as Modi’s Hindu nationalist Hindutva agenda is being implemented across the country. Targeted attacks and social boycotts of Christians and other minority faiths is common.
ICC will continue to monitor the increasing discrimination against Christians and advise relevant stakeholders on the developments.