The IRF is the US State Department’s annual report to Congress on international religious freedom, in which it gives its perspective on the status and violations of religious freedom around the world. It has different chapters on each country.
“We have released the US State Department’s 2021 report on International Religious Freedom (IRF) and misinformed comments by senior US officials,” a State Department spokesperson said. “It is unfortunate that vote bank politics is being practiced in international relations. We would urge that assessments based on motivated input and biased views are avoided.”
The Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson said, “As a naturally pluralistic society, India values religious freedom and human rights. In our discussions with the US, we have regularly highlighted issues of concern there, including racially and ethnically motivated attacks, hate crimes and gun violence,” referring to incidents in the US.
After releasing the report, Blinken said, “In India, the world’s largest democracy, and home to a great diversity of faiths, we have seen increasing attacks on people and places of worship.”
He said religious freedom is not just a fundamental right but an “important foreign policy priority”.
The India section of the report also highlights anti-conversion laws in the country, noting that 28 states have these laws and arrests were made under them. It also notes that several state governments announced plans to implement anti-conversion laws.
It cites allegations of attacks on various non-profit organizations and minority institutions, but in most cases is relatively silent on the outcome of investigations conducted by the authorities and the government’s response.
The India section of the report said, “Attackments, including murders, assaults and threats, on members of religious minority communities continued throughout the year. These included incidents of ‘cow vigilantism’ against non-Hindus based on allegations of cow slaughter or trade. Beef was involved.”
But it also takes note of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) chief Mohan Bhagwat’s statement that Hindus and Muslims in India have the same DNA and should not be separated on the basis of religion.
“In July, RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat, generally regarded as the ideological parent of India’s ruling party BJP, publicly stated that the DNA of Hindus and Muslims in India is the same and that they should be treated according to religion. should not be segregated on grounds.” The report said.
It said that the police arrested non-Hindus for making comments on media or social media which were considered derogatory to Hindus or Hinduism.
Non-governmental organizations (NGOs), including religious organizations, continued to criticize the 2020 amendments passed to the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA) as citizens by reducing the amount of foreign funds used by NGOs, including religious organizations. Society can be disrupted. Adding administrative objectives, and tougher inspection and certification requirements, the report said.