Asia

U.S. Visited by Only Politician Ever Banned Over Religious Freedom Violations: India's Modi

Meanwhile, Indian Christians prepare to protest persecution surge from prime minister's first 100 days in office.
U.S. Visited by Only Politician Ever Banned Over Religious Freedom Violations: India's Modi
Image: Global Panorama/Flickr

Today the only person ever banned by the United States because of alleged religious freedom violations—India’s newly-elected prime minister, Narendra Modi—will begin a four-day tour on American shores.

After Modi failed to prevent the riot deaths of 1,000 Muslims in 2002 while he was chief minister of the western state of Gujarat, the State Department leaned on a little-known provision in the International Religious Freedom Act that says foreign officials responsible for “severe violations of religious freedom” shouldn’t be admitted to America. The Wall Street Journal offers more details.

The visa restriction might have been permanent, but this summer Modi was elected to the most powerful political position in India. He’ll meet with President Obama and major business corporations during his visit from September 26-30. One American legal group filed suit against Modi this week, though the move is largely seen as symbolic, reports Reuters.

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