In 1998, Congress created the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom. Its mandate was to “monitor the status of freedom of thought, conscience, and religion or belief abroad.”
Part of this monitoring involves visits to the countries where violations of religious freedom are alleged to have occurred.
That’s why the Commission planned to visit India in response to reports about the killing of Christians in the Indian state of Orissa. The killings were part of a larger campaign of violence and intimidation that has left 100 people dead and thousands of Christians homeless.
As the word “planned” suggests, the Commission never traveled to India. The Indian government never issued the required visas and hasn’t explained why. This gives India the dubious distinction of being the only democracy to have refused a visit by the Commission.