Communist Party of India (Marxist) activists shout slogans as they take part in a protest against US President Donald Trump's visit to India in Mumbai on Feb. 25. (Photo: Indranil Mukherjee/AFP)
US President Donald Trump has disappointed Indian Christians with his reticence to speak about deteriorating religious freedom in the country, say Christian leaders.Trump concluded his 36-hour India visit on Feb. 25 with a media conference when he heaped praise on his host, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, but refused to comment on Hindu fanatic violence against religious minorities such as Christians and Muslims.Christian leaders like Joseph Dias, general secretary of the Mumbai-based Catholic Secular Forum, said Trump's India visit was a great disappointment for Indian Christians."Persecuted Christians had great expectations, but Trump lost the opportunity," Dias told UCA News.Trump responded to questions about religious freedom and religion-based violence by saying they were an internal matter for India.Trump also lauded the Modi government's policy, saying that Modi stands for "religious freedom."A.C. Michael, a former member of the Delhi Minorities Commission, said international rights forums, including the US Commission on International Religious Freedom, have detailed the shrinking religious freedom in India."Under such circumstances, it was expected from the US president to speak for the freedom of the Indian Christian community, whose support he seeks in his country," Michael said.The Christian leader said that just before leaving for India, Trump "gave an assurance to American Indian Christians that he would take up the matter of violence against minorities, especially Christians. He has failed to keep his word. He is obliged to explain this unforgivable failure."