Charles Colson recently wrote an interesting editorial on the media's non-response to religious freedom issues in India.  Here is an excerpt followed by a link to the full article:

In 1998, Congress created the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom. Its mandate was to "monitor the status of freedom of thought, conscience, and religion or belief abroad."

Part of this monitoring involves visits to the countries where violations of religious freedom are alleged to have occurred.

That's why the Commission planned to visit India in response to reports about the killing of Christians in the Indian state of Orissa. The killings were part of a larger campaign of violence and intimidation that has left 100 people dead and thousands of Christians homeless.

As the word "planned" suggests, the Commission never traveled to India. The Indian government never issued the required visas and hasn't explained why. This gives India the dubious distinction of being the only democracy to have refused a visit by the Commission.

While there has been no official explanation, the reasons for the refusal are well known, at least in India. Hindu nationalists had demanded that the Commission not be allowed to visit India. One leader called the Commission an "intrusive mechanism … interfering with the internal affairs of India."



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