New York. December 13, 2019

India’s Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB)will help to boost the immigration of persecuted Christians to India, said Fr Joseph Varghese, Executive Director of Institute for Religious Freedom and Tolerance and urged the Christian groups in Pakistan to file necessary papers help to migrate to India in the wake of severe religious persecution in Pakistan.

The Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB) which passed by India’s Parliament will fast-track citizenship for religious minorities, including Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians, from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan.

The bill cleared the Rajya Sabha, India’s upper house of parliament where the BJP lacks a clear majority, on Wednesday with 125 votes in favor and 105 against and send it to the President to sign on.

The opposition and the human rights activists in India deplore the bill as the bill exclude the Muslim minorities from seeking asylum.

As far as the persecuted Christians are concerned, it is a good decision, said Fr. Varghese.

Many indigenous groups in North Eastern States of India fear that giving citizenship to large numbers of immigrants, especially Muslims who came over the porous border with Bangladesh following independence in 1971, would change the unique ethnic make-up of the region and their way of life, regardless of religion.

Amit Shah, India’s home minister said in a tweet that the bill “will allow India to open its doors to minorities from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan who are facing religious persecution.”