Letter Urging President Biden to Designate India as Country of Particular Concern - IAMC

Letter Urging President Biden to Designate India as Country of Particular Concern

President Joe Biden

1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW Washington, DC 20500

May 23, 2022
Dear Mr. President,

We were informed that you will be meeting with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the Quad Leaders Summit in Japan this week. Under Mr. Modi’s leadership during the past eight years, India has slid from democracy to authoritarian rule, with flagrant and non-stop violations of the rights of religious minorities.

We, the undersigned U.S. citizens, respectfully request that you convey to Mr. Modi that the bipartisan U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom has recommended that the United States designate India as a country of particular concern.

This is the third year in a row that the commission has made this recommendation. India has been “engaging in and tolerating systematic, ongoing, and egregious violations of religious freedom,” according to USCIRF’s annual report for 2022.

Religious minorities in India, namely Christians, Muslims, Sikhs and others, suffer discrimination, assaults, demolition of their homes, businesses and places of worship, plus acts of deadly violence on a daily basis. Journalists and critics of the government have been beaten, jailed and persecuted by groups supported by Mr. Modi and the BJP.

There is a one-in-seven chance of a “new mass killing” happening in India this year, according to the Early Warning Project, a joint program of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum and Dartmouth College’s Dickey Center for International Understanding. This risk factor is the second highest in the world, according to the Early Warning Project’s rankings.

Freedom House’s rating of India’s democracy dropped from “Free” in 2020 to “Partly Free” in 2021. The organization cited issues such as government crackdowns on social media content, monitoring of journalists, opposition figures and activists, arrests of opposition leaders, laws found to be discriminatory against Muslims, and the death of an 84-year-old Jesuit priest while in police custody. The priest had been an advocate on behalf of India’s Adivasi indigenous people.

Designating India as a country of particular concern is not a Democratic or Republican issue, but an American issue. Our nation has a duty to stand with oppressed people throughout the world and ensure that their dignity, human rights and religious freedoms are protected, as you pledged during your campaign for president.

The oppressed religious minorities of India are looking up to the United States of America for an end to their misery. America has always stood up in support of the oppressed when needed.


David Anderson
Outreach Director
International Society for Peace and Justice

Rehan Khan, MD, MS
International Society for Peace and Justice

Koshy George
Federation of Indian American Christian Organizations

John Prabhudoss
Federation of Indian American Christian Organizations

Ajit Sahi
Advocacy Director
Indian American Muslim Council

Nikhil Mandalaparthy Advocacy Director Hindus for Human Rights

The Rev. Peter Cook
Executive Director
New York State Council of Churches

Amb. Islam Siddiqui President
American Muslim Insitution

Hena Zuberi Washington, DC Director Justice for All

Kaleem Kawaja
Executive Director
Association of Indian Muslims of America