Religious freedom in India ‘significantly worsened’: US panel
In its 2022 annual report, the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) has said that the state of religious freedom in India has reached a "significantly worse" state than last year.
It has recommended that India be designated a 'Country of Special Concern' (CPC), i.e. the category of the worst performing governments on religious freedom criteria.
What is the USCIRF?
It is an independent, bipartisan body created by the US International Religious Freedom Act, 1998 (IRFA).
It has the authority to monitor religious freedom violations globally and make policy recommendations.
It is an entity formed by Congress and not an NGO or advocacy organisation.
It is led by nine part-time commissioners appointed by its President.
Meaning of 'Country of Particular Concern’ (CPC)
IRFA requires the USCIRF to annually identify countries that qualify for the CPC designation.
According to the IRFA, CPCs are countries whose governments engage in or tolerate "particularly serious violations" of religious freedom.
Such freedom is defined as a serious violation of the internationally recognized right to freedom of religion.
The other designation, for less serious violations, is the Special Watch List (SWL).
Other countries who have been designated as CPCs
For 2022, a total of 15 countries have been recommended for the CPC designation, based on religious freedom in 2021.
They are India, Pakistan, Burma, China, Eritrea, Iran, North Korea, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Tajikistan, Afghanistan, Nigeria, Syria and Vietnam.
Please Rate this article, so that we can improve the quality for you -