US NGO lists Modi, Yogi among 7 worst persecutors of minorities

"The U.S. and its allies should consider economic and visa sanctions against key decision-makers in the Modi administration," the Christian NGO said.

Hyderabad: Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath have been named among the world’s seven biggest persecutors of religious minorities by a reputed global Christian organisation— International Christian Concern (ICC).

The organisation called for the United States government to impose visa and economic sanctions against key decision-makers in the Modi administration to pressure it to end the persecution of minorities.

The others on the list include Chinese President Xi Jinping, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, Nigerian politician Nasir El Rufai and the North Korean dictator, Kim Jong-Un. Other countries besides India, include Nigeria, China, Myanmar, Turkey, and Pakistan.

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The ICC in its report titled “2021 Persecutor of the Year Awards”, released in November, clubbed the Sangh Parivar (Right Wing Hindu Nationalist Movement) with the Taliban and the Boko Haram and named India as one of the world’s seven biggest persecutors.

The organisations that have been listed along with Sangh Parivar in the list, are Taliban, Al Shabab, Boko Haram, East Indonesia Mujahideen, Grey Wolves, Jamaah Ansharut Daulah, Popular mobilization forces, and Tahreek-e-Labbayk.

The ICC report stated that the Modi administration had overseen “a massive cultural shift” in India from a pluralistic society to Hindu nationalism, and “consistently punished all forms of dissent,” cracking down on NGOs seeking to hold it accountable. “The U.S. and its allies should consider economic and visa sanctions against key decision-makers in the Modi administration,” the report added.

About a week ago, the US Secretary of State Antony Blinken refused to designate India as a Country of Particular Concern (CPC), rejecting the recommendation from the US Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF). Many organizations condemned the call.

“Modi’s knowing inaction to end persecution was the single most significant contributing factor to the dire state of religious freedom in India… that allows Hindu radicals to persecute India’s Christian minority with impunity,” the report said.

The report also pointed out that India was also hostile to critics such as Amnesty International, which it accused of violating foreign funding laws, just as it accuses Christian ministries, and forced it to shut operations in India. It was widely believed that this act was politically motivated to silence Amnesty’s criticism of the Indian government’s abuses, the report said.

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