Yet another site important to one religious faith has been sequestrated by political leaders of another faith. Last month saw Hagia Sophia in Istanbul appropriated by Turkey’s Islamist President Erdogan.
Today, Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi presided over a religious ceremony to kick-start the construction of a Hindu temple on the site of a mosque whose destruction two decades ago sparked deadly riots across India.
In December 1992, Hindu mobs — mobilised by Mr Modi’s now ruling Bharatiya Janata party — destroyed the 16th century Babri mosque, leading to religious clashes across the country in which 2,000 people were killed.
Meanwhile, the UK Government says it has raised the persecution of Christians with the Government in India’s Haryana State and that “India’s strength, like that of the UK’s, is in its diversity and we trust the Government of India to address the concerns of people of all religions.”
Our reference: MC2020/13928
The Lord Alton of Liverpool
House of Commons
4 August 2020
Thank you for your emails of 10 and 16 July about Christian persecution in India and a proposed new anti-conversion law in the state of Haryana. I am responding to both emails.
I am grateful to you for highlighting the reports by ( ) ) and ( ) , which I have passed on to my officials at the British High
Commission in New Delhi who have taken note of the findings.
As you know, we condemn any instances of discrimination because of religion or belief, regardless of the country or faith involved. India’ strength, like that of the UK’s, is in its diversity and we trust the Government of India to address the concerns of people of all
We continue to engage India on the full range of human rights matters.
Most recently, I discussed the situation for India’s minorities with the Acting High
Commissioner of India on 22 May. Where we have concerns, we will continue to
raise them with the Government of India.
LORD (TARIQ) AHMAD OF WIMBLEDON
Minister of State for South Asia and the Commonwealth
Prime Minister’s Special Representative on Preventing Sexual Violence in Conflict