A group of U.S. lawmakers have written to the Chief Minister of India's eastern state of Orissa, calling for action against those who have carried out attacks against Christians.
"Such attacks on the fundamental freedom of religion threaten not only India's reputation for religious diversity, but also the very stability of India's secular democracy," the 21 lawmakers, led by Trent Franks (R-Ariz.), state in the letter addressed to Naveen Patnaik.
Just over a dozen people have been convicted so far for the anti-Christian violence that erupted last year and many remain at large.
In August 2008, Hindu extremists carried out the worst religious persecution in India’s 60 years of democracy. At least 120 people were murdered, 250 churches destroyed and over 50,000 individuals displaced. Thousands remain in refugee camps, fearing more attacks if they return home.
"Given the recent experience with religiously inspired terrorism, we are concerned that if Hindu extremists can act with impunity toward religious minorities in India, these extremists and their ideologies will begin to affect international security as well," states the letter, released Friday, according to Agence France-Presse.