A picture of Representative Joseph R. Pitts
Joseph P.
Republican PA 16

About Rep. Joseph
  • India Human Rights

    by Representative Joseph R. Pitts

    Posted on 2015-01-26

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    PITTS asked and was given permission to address the House for 1 minute and to revise and extend his remarks.) Mr. PITTS. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to bring attention to the state of religious freedom and pluralism in India. In a very troubling pattern, India's historic pluralism is being replaced with intolerance, division, and majoritarianism.

    Reports from NGOs, one of which I will submit for the Record today, have documented a rise in attacks by Hindu nationalists against minority Christian populations in the first 100 days of the new government. Continuing reports show a pattern of targeting religious minorities, including India's notably moderate Muslim population. The burning of churches, brutal beatings, intimidation, and arrests of pastors have created a tenuous climate in Indian society.

    As the government embarks on economic reforms, it should not ignore the plight of minorities. Newly elected Prime Minister Modi must speak out and act on this violence. Furthermore, the Obama administration must forcibly speak out on behalf of oppressed populations. Human rights should be elevated in the strategic dialogue between our two countries. Our government must display moral clarity in our approach to gross violations of international religious freedom--no matter where they occur.

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