In April, the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) asked the U.S. State Department to place India on a list of "countries of particular concern" because of attacks on minorities.
USCIRF designated India a "country of particular concern" (CPC) in its 2020 annual report, in addition to 13 other nations - including North Korea and China - that were given the designation.
India has barred U.S. representatives from investigating the county's reported violations of religious freedom, continuing what critics call a trend of Hindu nationalism that threatens religious minorities in India.
Reports indicate that Indian Hindus, who make up nearly 80% of India's population, have systematically targeted Muslims in lynch mobs for slaughtering or eating beef– a practice that Hindus consider to be a religious offense. Since the BJP came to power in 2014, there have been over 100 lynch mob attacks in India, which often originate on social media.
Local law enforcement is known to arrest the victims, rather than the perpetrators, of these attacks.
Religious discrimination and violence has also been directed toward Christians in recent years. In January, Hindu groups attempted to prevent the building of a huge statue of Jesus in Bangalore. They claimed a Hindu god lives on the hill where the local Catholic archdiocese was planning to erect the statue.
In 2008, Hindu nationalists organized attacks on Christian homes, schools, and churches in Karnataka, physically beating hundreds of Christians. The Saldhana Report, an independent report on the attacks released in 2011, revealed that the attacks were backed by India's highest government authorities.
Dozens of Catholics in the same region were attacked in 2019 while conducting a Marian pilgrimage, resulting in the arrest of six Hindu Nationalists.