Indian parliament provides certain Christians citizenship, but critics fear a move away from religious freedom

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

(Worthy News) - New legislation passed in India's parliament grants citizenship to beleaguered Christian foreigners, among others, but the US Commission on International Religious Freedom says it is a dangerous move.

The Citizenship Amendment Bill passed Wednesday in the upper house of the Lok Sabha, and brings "persecuted" Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians from Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Pakistan into the fold of Indian citizenship, but excludes Muslims.

The USCIRF called it a "new religious test for Indian citizenship," requesting the state department to sanction Indian Home Minister Amit Shah for the change to India's 64 year-old citizenship law, which protestors have railed against in the nation's one-third Muslim northeast province of Assam.

Critics say the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party's real goal is to deport the Indian Muslim population, having recently stripped its Muslim-majority region of Kashmir of sovereignty.