State Department Sacrifices India’s Persecuted Christians on the Altar of Hindu Nationalism

Latest Human Rights Report blanks out ethnic cleansing of tribal believers in Manipur.

The muscular god Hanuman is a favorite icon of intolerant Hindu nationalists.

By Jason Jones & Jules Gomes Published on April 29, 2024

“If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it,” Hitler’s propaganda minister, Josef Goebbels, reportedly said. (In reality, he insisted, “Good propaganda does not need to lie, indeed it may not lie.”)

The U.S. State Department’s latest Human Rights Report on India is the epitome of good propaganda.

It is so good, in fact, that were Goebbels among us today, he would praise it as “gaslighting.”

Meanwhile, its timing would put a metronome to shame: The report has been released to coincide with India’s elections, which began April 19 and will roll out in waves across the subcontinent until June 1. Reuters published a story on the State Department on April 23, as nearly a billion Indians headed to the polls.

Biden’s Gift to Modi

The report is Joe Biden’s gift to India Prime Minister Narendra Modi — who, shamelessly supported by India’s lapdog media, is poised to win a third term in power in what analysts have described as “the most predictable polls India has held in decades.”

Christians (and Muslims) have already suffered the worst persecution in recent history under Modi, an activist in India’s extremist para-military Hindu outfit: the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), whose Hitler-inspired ideology asserts that India belongs to Hindus and that its minorities should be treated the way Nazis treated the Jews.

Since May 2023, the impeccably orchestrated ethnic cleansing of Kuki-Zomi Christians under Modi’s patronage in Manipur (like the massacre of a thousand Muslims in Gujarat when he was chief minister of the state in 2002) is the Indian Church’s Kristallnacht.

It’s not just Manipur, though: Christians across India have been assaulted and killed, churches have been burned, pastors have been attacked, arrested, and falsely charged with attempting to forcibly convert Hindus, and Catholic schools have been vandalized. But not once does the State Department’s 80-page Human Rights Report mention the words “Christian” or “church.”

Instead, it lists human rights abuses against Hindus, Muslims, and Jews, explicitly naming all three groups even though religious violence against Hindus is virtually nonexistent, Muslims are better equipped to protect their communities than anyone, and Jews (who constitute a minuscule minority of Indians), are, like the Zoroastrians, almost never singled out for religious persecution.

Unsurprisingly, the report even mentions discrimination and police atrocities against members of the LGBTQI+ community, singling out the case of four men “allegedly molesting a transgender woman” in the state of Andhra Pradesh.

Report Omits Rape of Christian Women

The report doesn’t mention the nearly two dozen Kuki women who were not just gang-raped by Hindu Meitei mobs, but in some cases paraded naked (the videos went viral across the globe on social media) and murdered. They were targeted for sexual violence because they were Christians, as I pointed out in March.

The State Department makes not a single mention of the Hindu nationalist forces that have destroyed or burned hundreds of churches, killed more than 200 tribals, displaced more than 70,000 people, and systematically targeted Christian schools and seminaries, including 22 Christian female victims of rape, torture, assault, arson, and murder.

According to a press release from the Christian advocacy organization Samast Christi Samaj:

[T]here is barely a Church that is still standing in the Imphal valley, except a few of those where the non-Zomi-Kuki tribals go for worship. Definitely, this is the first (time) in Indian history that these many places of worship have been vandalized, burnt or demolished.

International Reports Ignored

The Biden administration’s report could ignore Samast Christi Samaj’s complaints as biased, but how could they ignore questions from British members of Parliament specifically asking how the Church of England was raising awareness of “recent attacks on churches and Christian communities in Manipur?”

Why does the U.S. report fail to mention a 33-page dossier complied by Fiona Bruce, a member of Parliament and the prime minister’s Special Envoy for Freedom of Religion or Belief, who published an independent investigative report in June 2023 and an update last September?

Why does the U.S. report fail to mention an emergency resolution by the European Parliament explicitly blaming “intolerance” towards “Christians” and “divisive policies promoting Hindu majoritarianism” as one of the main causes of violence in the state?

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Why does the U.S. report omit the United Nations Human Rights Council raising the alarm in September 2023 about the “hundreds of churches being burnt down” and blasting “the reported misuse of counterrorism measures to legitimize acts of violence and repression against ethnic and religious minorities”?

Even progressive Hindus calling themselves Hindus for Human Rights have excoriated the Modi government for “concerted violence” against Christians and other minorities and named the “Christian Kuki-Zomi communities” for facing “the most intense violence from both the state and Hindu nationalist mobs.”

“Manipur has been a particular center of anti-Indigenous and anti-Christian violence by majoritarian, Hindu nationalist forces,” they admit in a report. “Notably, the Modi government has refused to address the violence, and instead has provided political support to Chief Minister Biren Singh, who has been accused of fueling the violence and supporting Hindu nationalist extremists in the conflict.”

What Explains Biden’s Love for Modi?

So why is the rosary-clutching Joe Biden, a president who touts himself as a devout Catholic, courting one of the most aggressively anti-Christian politicians in the world?

In 2005, the U.S. denied Modi, then chief minister of Gujarat, an entry visa on charges related to “religious freedom violations” in the state. In June 2023, the Biden White House hosted a state dinner for Modi and showered him with the highest honors.

What explains Biden’s love affair with Modi? Is it political expediency? Does Biden need to cozy up to India to counter the Chinese threat?

Perhaps it’s moral relativism? A Catholic president who makes the sign of the cross at an abortion rally cannot be expected to care for Indian Christians any more than Molech, the Canaanite deity who demanded child sacrifice, could be expected to care for the welfare of babies.

Is it a nod to Kamala Harris? Despite her attempts to portray herself as a “black” person, Biden’s vice president hails from Hinduism’s highest caste — the Tamil Brahmin priesthood, regarded by “untouchable” and lower castes as India’s most racist institution.

Or does it involve the coming U.S. elections? Hindu-Americans, who once overwhelmingly backed the Democrats, are still in play politically. Hindus (172,000) outnumber Muslims (123,000) in battleground states like Georgia. Muslims are also feeling betrayed by Biden’s Middle East wobble on Israel. And don’t forget, more than 130 Indian-Americans hold key positions in the Biden administration!

“Hindu-Americans can play a key role in President Biden’s reelection,” says Ramesh Kapur, a Massachusetts-based political fundraiser.

Even Pope Francis Keeps Silent

Therefore, Indian Christians can wait at the back of the queue for his assistance. After all, Pope Francis, who enveloped Modi in a warm embrace at the Vatican in 2021, hasn’t uttered a peep on behalf of Indian Christians. Why, then, should we expect Biden or his minions to take up the cudgel?

“Propaganda must not investigate the truth objectively…” but it “must present only that aspect of the truth which is favorable to its own side,” Hitler wrote in Mein Kampf. “Today one can say without exaggeration that Germany is a model of propaganda for the entire world,” Goebbels boasted in a 1934 Nuremberg speech.

Their Nazi hearts would swell with pride if only they knew how a Hindu nationalist and a Catholic American would adopt their tried-and-tested model less than a century later.

 

Jason Jones is a film producer, author, activist, popular podcast host, and human rights worker. He is president of the Human-Rights Education and Relief Organization (H.E.R.O.), known for its two main programs, the Vulnerable People Project and Movie to Movement. He was the first recipient of the East Turkistan Order of Friendship Medal for his advocacy of the Uyghur people. Jones was an executive producer of Bella and an associate producer of The Stoning of Soraya M. His humanitarian efforts have aided millions in Afghanistan, Nigeria, and the Ukraine, as well as pregnancy centers and women’s shelters throughout North America. Jones is a senior contributor to The Stream and the host of The Jason Jones Show. He is also the author of three books: The Race to Save Our Century, The World Is on Fire, and his latest, The Great Campaign Against the Great Reset. His latest film, Divided Hearts of America, is available on Amazon Prime.

 

 

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