President Trump is wrapping up a two-day visit to India, the world’s largest democracy.
The President and Mrs. Trump were the guests of honor at a state banquet held at the presidential palace in the capital of New Delhi.
India’s president said Trump’s visit had “opened a new chapter” in US-India relations.
Earlier in the day, Trump met with India’s controversial prime minister Narendra Modi. The two leaders have developed a close relationship in the last few years.
Meanwhile, the president was asked about India’s record on religious freedom during a news conference Tuesday in New Delhi.
“I will say that the prime minister was incredible on what he told me. He wants people to have religious freedom, and very strongly, and he said that in India, they have worked very hard to have great and open religious freedom,” Trump told the assembled reporters.
India ranks number 10 on Open Doors USA’s 2020 Watch List of the world’s top persecutors of Christians.
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Since the current ruling party took power in 2014, incidents against Christians have increased, and Hindu radicals often attack Christians with little or no consequences, according to the ministry. Christians in India face horrific levels of violence from extremists – thousands of attacks take place every year.
CBN News International Correspondent George Thomas has spent a lot of time covering Christians in India over the past several years. While appearing on the Tuesday afternoon edition of CBN’s Newswatch program, Thomas said Trump needs to read Open Doors USA’s report.
“Under the leadership of Narendra Modi, we have seen widespread attacks against Christians led by Hindu radicals. And it’s been devastating. From big cities to small remote villages and towns, Hindu radicals have gone on the rampage attacking churches, attacking Christians,” Thomas explained.
“All these village pastors, all they want to do is tell people about Jesus Christ and these mobs of Hindus would come and attack them. That’s why Open Doors has declared India the tenth worst place in the world to be a person of faith, specifically to be a Christian,” he noted.
Thomas told viewers he believed what the president did was stagecraft since you don’t want to criticize or call out the government official standing next to you.
“Hopefully, behind the scenes, behind closed doors, hopefully, the president has been forthright with Mr. Modi and has really pressed him on the issue of religious freedom in India,” Thomas said.