On 23rd February 2015, the Bishop of Coventry, the Rt Revd Christopher Cocksworth, received answers to three written questions on the subject of freedom of religion in India.
The Lord Bishop of Coventry: To ask Her Majesty’s Government what representations have they made to the government of India regarding the practice of forced, fraudulent or induced conversions of Christians and Muslims to Hinduism in India. [HL4821]
The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Baroness Anelay of St Johns): UK Ministers and officials from our High Commission in New Delhi discuss religious and minority issues with the Indian National Commission for Minorities and other relevant State-level authorities. Most recently, the Minister of State at the Home Office with responsibility for Crime Prevention, my right Hon. Friend the Member for Hornsey and Wood Green (Lynne Featherstone), met the Indian Minister for Minorities in January. Our High Commission also maintains regular contact with senior faith leaders and along with EU partners met with the Archbishop of Delhi on 13 February. During their visit to India last week, the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association also discussed the recent attacks on churches in New Delhi with the Indian Minister for Minorities. We will continue to maintain a dialogue with the new Indian government about religious and minority rights issues.
The Lord Bishop of Coventry: To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assistance have they provided or intend to provide to those human rights organisations committed to strengthening India’s commitment to and respect for Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Baroness Anelay of St Johns): We regularly discuss issues around freedom of religion and belief with the Indian government and faith leaders. We also support freedom of religion or belief in India through Department for International Development programmes which help to promote equal treatment and access to services for all, including the most disadvantaged communities.