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'The Worst Communal Violence in Decades': Religious Freedom Advocates Sound the Alarm in India

03-04-2020
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ABOVE: Watch CBN News Senior Washington Correspondent Jennifer Wishon's complete interview with Commissioner Anurima Bhargava.

The US Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) is sounding the alarm about violence against religious minorities in Delhi, India. 

Mobs are terrorizing the streets, targeting mostly Muslims.

Christians are also being targeted for evangelizing.

Last week more than 40 people were killed, hundreds more were injured in brutal attacks.

It's the culmination of tensions following the amendment of India's citizenship laws in December. The changes give people coming from Bangladesh, Afghanistan, and Pakistan of Christian or any faith other than Islam a pathway to citizenship.

200 million Muslims live in India making up 14 percent of the population.

Tensions are amplified by the Indian government's efforts to create a national register of citizens which requires people to show documents to prove their citizens that many don't have.

"We're seeing the worst communal violence in decades," Anurima Bhargava, a USCIRF commissioner tells CBN News.

"India is a place where people of all faiths have lived together I harmony through many, many years, through hundreds of years and in some ways that's why this moment is of such concern to people because the citizenship laws and this effort to try and have people document whether or not they are part of communities that they have been part of for so long is something that's giving license to people to feel like they can target or direct violence to these communities," she explains.

On a bright note, Bhargava says people of all faiths are reaching out and offering protection to those being persecuted even offering their houses of worship as places of sanctuary.

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