WASHINGTON- The United States said that it was closely monitoring reports of forced mass conversions in India.

“We are aware of recent reports regarding alleged coercion in mass conversions in India, and are monitoring the situation closely,” said a statement issued by the US Department of State. The issue of mass conversion was raised at the State Department’s regular briefing on Thursday, but the spokesperson Jen Psaki, promised to respond later.

“We work to promote respect for freedom of religion and belief in all countries around the world. We call on all states to comply with their obligations to protect religious freedom, as per international norms,” the statement said.