Officials from 21 countries urge govt to protect minority rights

(Photo: Unsplash/Davi Mendes)

Increasing anti-conversion laws, hate speech and violence against religious minorities in India have been denounced by human rights organisations and officials from 21 countries.

Several groups voiced their concerns about minority rights, free speech and peaceful assembly in the nation, including the International Federation for Human Rights, World Organisation Against Torture, Christian Solidarity Worldwide, International Dalit Solidarity Network, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch.

The groups urged the Indian government to better safeguard religious minorities' rights and freedom of religion in a joint statement issued on November 21.

Numerous individuals expressed worry about the rise in violence and hate speech as well as the government's enactment of anti-conversion laws in several states.

The statement said that "attacks, discrimination, and incitement against religious minorities are increasing." At least ten Indian states prohibit forced conversion to a different religion, but they abuse the law to target Christians, it added.

As anti-conversion laws continue to spread throughout the nation, Greg Musselman of The Voice of the Martyrs Canada, emphasised his fear for Christians.

The anti-conversion laws, according to Musselman, can be used against minority groups that are not Hindus, and anyone who leaves Hinduism for a different religion is treated as a suspect because authorities assume there must have been some form of coercion.