ACLJ Presents at the U.N. To Address Religious Freedom Violations Occurring in India and Elsewhere Around the World | American Center for Law and Justice
  Search  |  Login  |  Register

ACLJ Profile Completion

Verified

On March 19, 2021, I was able to present an oral intervention during the General debate under agenda Item: 8 – follow-up to and implementation of the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action during the 46th Regular Session of the U.N. Human Rights Council in Geneva. The Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action was the reaffirmation of the World Conference on Human Rights, which stated:

The solemn commitment of all States to fulfil their obligations to promote universal respect for, and observance and protection of, all human rights and fundamental freedoms for all in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations, other instruments relating to human rights, and international law. The universal nature of these rights and freedoms is beyond question.

In this framework, enhancement of international cooperation in the field of human rights is essential for the full achievement of the purposes of the United Nations.

Human rights and fundamental freedoms are the birthright of all human beings; their protection and promotion is the first responsibility of Governments.

I was able to remind the Council of this commitment as I pointed out that religious persecution is one of the most egregious attacks against human rights, and that Christianity remains the most persecuted religion in the world.

My statement further addressed the ongoing and increasing religious freedom violations occurring in India, which has been ranked as the number ten offender of countries targeting the Christian faith and those who follow Jesus:

This ranking of India in the top ten is primarily a consequence of growing Hindu nationalism, which has resulted in a significant increase in the persecution of Christians in India.

Clearly, through the denial of official COVID-19 aid, and the blind eye that officials often turn to religiously motivated violence against Christians, the government in India is complicit in and even the perpetrator of religiously motivated discrimination.

I was also able to address the recent persecution of our client, Pastor Bryan Nerren, to further highlight the Indian government’s direct targeting and attacks against Christians:

This claim can further be supported by the recent wrongful targeting, arrest, and detention for over seven months of our client, Pastor Bryan Nerren.

During this time, one customs official made it quite clear that Pastor Nerren was targeted because of his Christian faith, stating that they had been ordered by the central government to crush Christianity and they were going to do just that.

It was only after months of concerted diplomatic efforts that justice was finally able to prevail and Pastor Nerren allowed to return home. Pastor Nerren was lucky, but we cannot forget the remaining Christians in India and all over the world who are facing persecution daily, simply because of their faith.

In our previously submitted written statement, we also highlighted the increasing number of anti-conversion laws being passed in India’s states, as well as detailing violence and persecution against Christians at the hands of civil actors. For instance:

[I]n January 2021, a mob of 20-25 men, including one man wielding an axe, attacked “[s]ix Christian families [who] were worshipping in a wood-and-hay structure in eastern India”. According to the report, the mob “manhandled the Christians, damaged [an adjacent] Christian home, and broke the thatched structure with the axe”. Furthermore, “[t]hey threatened to chase them out of their homes and the village if they reported the matter to the police”.

These kinds of attacks and government involvement in persecution are simply unacceptable. As I stated in my conclusion, the world needs to “denounce religious persecution” and “make it a priority to protect the right to practice one’s faith freely.” We will continue to speak out against religiously motivated violence in India, and around the world, and we will continue to urge world leaders to do the same.

The U.N. Human Rights Council has now concluded its 46th regular session. But during the session, the ACLJ, through our affiliate office, the European Centre for Law and Justice (“ECLJ”), was able to present five oral interventions before the Council. While the ability to present oral statements is quite restricted and speaking slots hard to obtain, the ACLJ was able to provide multiple statements, addressing religious persecution and other human rights violations occurring around the world – and with your continued support, we will continue to do so!

Faith and Foreign Policy – Essential for Our Republic

By Mike Pompeo, Senior Counsel for Global Affairs1618495140000

The public square, scrubbed of faith, is a lesser space, unmoored from history and values, discipline, and love and prone to leaders who are venal, corrupt, and singularly focused on maintaining power for the simple sake of self-aggrandizement. This is why I have always made clear that faith in the...

read more

Two Christian Nurses Arrested for Blasphemy in Pakistan

By Jordan Sekulow1618003606107

Today Pakistani authorities have arrested two Christian women over a false allegation of blasphemy. Videos circulated on social media show a crowd of enraged Muslim men circling police vehicles, chanting slogans, and demanding the women’s arrest. The crowd was gathered outside the hospital where...

read more

Tragic Update on the Abducted Christian Teen Leah Sharibu in Nigeria

By Olivia Summers1617300000000

Warning: The following blog contains disturbing new information regarding Christian teen Leah Sharibu. We feel it is necessary to illustrate the severity of the persecution Nigeria’s Christians face – including innocent children. The heartbreaking plight of Christian teen Leah Sharibu, who was...

read more

Defending Christians in Democratic Republic of the Congo at the UN

By Paul Archuleta1616680740000

In an effort to give a voice to the voiceless and defend the persecuted, the ACLJ has taken action by shedding light on atrocities carried out around the world. Just recently, we delivered a critical presentation to the U.N. Human Rights Council (UNHRC) on behalf of persecuted Christians in Nigeria...

read more