To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what assessment his Department has made of the safety of Christians in India during the current elections from reported actions by (a) Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh and (b) other Hindu nationalist groups.
15 May 2019
India has a strong democratic framework and constitutionally enshrined protections for freedom of religious belief. However it faces numerous challenges enforcing these, including for some Christians and other religious minorities, due to its size and social and economic development. We maintain a continuous assessment of the human rights situation across India. The situation for Christians is varied depending on location, socio-economic background, and the proportion of religious minorities.
We engage with India on the full range of human rights matters, both bilaterally and through the EU. We work with Union and State Governments, and with non-governmental organisations, to build capacity and share expertise to promote human rights for all. We have raised Christian persecution with the Indian Government. Most recently, on 25 March 2019, the British High Commission highlighted the importance of tackling Christian persecution with India’s Ministry of External Affairs.
The British High Commission in New Delhi, and our Deputy High Commissions across India, also run projects promoting minority rights and regularly meet with religious representatives. Most recently, the High Commissioner met senior Christian leaders on 2 and 17 April, and the Chair of the National Human Rights Commission on 25 April, to discuss the situation for Christians across India