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International Religious Freedom Report 2019

  • 11 Jun 2020
  • 4 min read

Why in News

Recently, the US State Department has released its annual International Religious Freedom (IRF) Report 2019, which is a survey of the state of religious freedom across the world.

Key Points

  • The IRF report listed countries for positive developments in religious freedom and negative examples.
    • Nicaragua, Nigeria and China were cited as negative examples.
    • It stated that in China, state-sponsored repression against all religions continues to intensify because of the Chinese Communist Party.
    • India is not cited in either list.
  • The Country Report for India:
  • India's Stand:
    • The Indian government has rejected the report by asserting that there is no locus standi for a foreign government to comment on the state of its citizens' constitutionally protected rights.
    • It also emphasised that the report did not talk about the religious freedom given to various communities in India.

Freedom of Religion in India

  • Freedom of religion in India is a fundamental right guaranteed by Article 25-28 of the Constitution of India.
    • Article 25 (Freedom of conscience and free profession, practice and propagation of religion)
    • Article 26 (Freedom to manage religious affairs)
    • Article 27 (Freedom as to payment of taxes for promotion of any particular religion).
    • Article 28 (Freedom as to attendance at religious instruction or religious worship in certain educational institutions)
  • Further Article 29 and 30 of the Constitution deal with the protection of interest of minorities.
  • Religious Freedom in the US:
    • The US government has signed an executive order which included a move to formally prioritise religious freedom in the U.S. foreign policy.
    • The order also directed the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) to allocate $50 million in its yearly budget towards programmes that sought to promote religious freedom.
    • Recently, the US faced domestic protests in response to the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man at the hands of a white police officer.

Source: TH

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