Business leader denied access into India for Christian faith
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich., June 26, 2017 /Christian Newswire/ -- India now ranks right behind Saudi Arabia on the Open Doors International "World Watchlist" as one of the worst countries in which to be a Christian -- the result of a growing number of Hindu nationalists who see the Christian faith as an attempt to delegitimize Hinduism as India's native religion. This growing anti-Christian sentiment in India is now starting to affect U.S. business relationships.
Mr. Thomas Sudyk, President and CEO of EC Group International, a Rockford, Michigan based technology business was surprised when his visa was flagged by the Consul General of India in Houston, which resulted in the denial of entrance into India last Fall (October 5, 2016). "When I arrived in Chennai, India, I was informed that the Houston Consulate had flagged my visa and I would not be permitted to enter India." Mr. Sudyk explained. "For the past 17 years, I have frequently traveled to India to manage the affairs of EC Group Datasoft Pvt. Ltd. I have a 10-year multiple entry visa. Apparently," he observed, "I was flagged because several of my clients are Christian organizations."
Earlier this year in January, the national news reported that the government of India had blocked all foreign donations to Compassion International, a Christian organization focused on feeding impoverished children. Over 44% of Indian children under five are underweight and 72% of its infants suffer from anemia. The World Bank estimates that India is now one of the highest ranking countries in the world for the number of children suffering from malnutrition. In March 2017 Compassion closed its operations in India after 48 years, informing tens of thousands of children that they will no longer receive meals, medical care or tuition payments. The Hindu-based nationalist mindset has so influenced the thinking of the current Indian government leaders, that they are overlooking the desperate needs of their malnourished Indian children to protect their Hindu religion.
This religious nationalism is affecting U.S. based Indian leaders also. For example, a cursory glance at the tweets of the Consulate General of India in Houston executive Anupam Ray, (@anupamifs) shows that one of his top priorities is the evangelization of the Hindu religion in Texas. He and some of his associates are also using their position to block the real or perceived threats of the advancement of Christianity in their homeland, including legitimate business people like Sudyk.
Today, President Trump will host India Prime Minister Narendra Modi to strengthen ties between the two nations. One of the primary discussion topics will be advancing trade dialogue to create jobs in both countries. Business leaders like Tom Sudyk are hoping that President Trump will be able to defuse the religious hyper-sensitivity of the government of India so that companies like EC Group can continue to build mutually beneficial business relationships.
Photo: EC Group International expanded in 1999 by Tom Sudyk and established e-commerce operations in Chennai, India. The vision for expanding to India served two purposes. One was to provide US companies safe access to the abundant talent India had to offer. The second purpose was to establish a company that would make a difference to the people it touched. These values have created a competitive advantage by attracting and retaining some of the best talent in the industry.