My Government Will Ensure Complete Freedom Of Faith: Modi

17/02/2015 2:00 PM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:25 AM IST
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NEW DELHI, INDIA - FEBRUARY 15: Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses during the Re-Invest 2015, the first Renewable Energy Global Investors Meet & Expo, seeked to evolve innovative financial models for funding and aims to promote the partnership between the states and the Centre in harnessing renewable energy on February 15, 2015 in New Delhi, India. Modi said the focus should be on equipment manufacturing within India, which would also provide work opportunities for millions. (Photo by Virendra Singh Gosain/Hindustan Times via Getty Images)

Under fire for the attacks and acts of vandalism against the Christian community since his government was formed in May, last year, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that his government will not stand for religious intolerance.

"My government will ensure that there is complete freedom of faith," said Modi on Tuesday. He was speaking at a function held by the Syro-Malabar Church in Delhi to celebrate beatification of Saints Kuriakose Elias Chavara and Mother Euphrasia.

Modi's government has also been severely criticised for not speaking out against the "Gharwapsi" reconversions of Muslims and Christians being carried out by Hindutva groups across the country. On Monday, 36 persons including members of a Roman Catholic family were reportedly re-converted in the seaport town of Kollam in Kerala.

During his visit to India in January, President Barack Obama said that India would not succeed if "splintered" on religious lines. After he returned to the United States, Obama said that Mahatma Gandhi would be "shocked" at the religious intolerance in India over the past few years.

In December, St Sebastian’s Church in Delhi’s Dilshad Garden was gutted by a fire, and a week later, stones were thrown at a Syro-Malabar Catholic Church in Okhla during the evening mass.

A week after the Christian community staged a protest in Delhi, Modi met with the Delhi police commissioner B.S. Bassi on Friday. "The prime minister expressed his concern and said this case must be solved immediately," Bassi said after the meeting. "He said that security must be foolproof so that attacks don’t re-occur."

Speaking at the Syro-Malabar Church function on Tuesday, Modi made his strongest commitment yet to ensuring India's secular credentials.

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