‘Religious freedom deteriorating in India’

By Varghese K. George | The Hindu

The annual report of the U.S Commission on International Religious Freedom released on Wednesday said that religious tolerance and religious freedom continued to deteriorate in India in 2016.

“Hindu nationalist groups — such as the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), Sangh Parivar, and Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP) — and their sympathisers perpetrated numerous incidents of intimidation, harassment, and violence against religious minority communities and Hindu Dalits,” the report said, noting that these violations were most “frequent and severe” in 10 of India’s 29 States. It said national and State laws that restrict religious conversion, cow slaughter, and the foreign funding of non-governmental organisations (NGOs) helped create the conditions enabling these violations.