January 19, 2022

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India Cuts Off International Funding of Mom Teresa’s Charity

India Cuts Off Foreign Funding of Mother Teresa’s Charity

NEW DELHI — India has blocked a charity based by Mom Teresa from accepting international donations for its humanitarian work.

The explanation for the federal government’s choice Monday to refuse to resume the license of the group, the Missionaries of Charity, beneath the nation’s International Contribution Regulation Act, was not made clear. The group can attraction, however for now, a significant supply of funding has been reduce off.

The information got here round a tense Christmas, when churches have been vandalized and celebrations interrupted in latest days by a whole bunch of right-wing Hindus throughout the nation.

The rise in attacks on Christians, who make up about 2 % of India’s inhabitants, has been a part of a broader shift through which non secular minorities really feel much less protected. Anti-Christian vigilantes are sweeping via villages, storming churches, burning Christian literature, attacking schools and assaulting worshipers. Proper-wing Hindus have confronted Muslims throughout Friday prayers within the northern state of Haryana in latest months. At a conference last week, a whole bunch of right-wing Hindu monks brazenly known as for Muslims to be killed, of their quest to show India, constitutionally a secular republic, right into a Hindu nation.

In October, Prime Minister Narendra Modi invited Pope Francis to visit India, residence to one in every of Asia’s oldest and largest Christian populations. But it surely stays to be seen if the federal government’s newest transfer to chop off the Christian charity’s international funding will complicate that invitation.

Below the federal government of Mr. Modi, India has additionally been tightening rules on international funding of nongovernmental organizations. It has positioned restrictions on many Christian and Muslim nonprofits and put others on a watch list for violating Indian legal guidelines, particularly the legal guidelines regarding non secular conversions.

Nonprofits are required to file detailed monetary statements of their international funds and the way they use them in India and are restricted from receiving these funds till their licenses are accredited by the federal government.

Final yr, the human rights group Amnesty Worldwide shut its India operations in response to a sequence of presidency reprisals together with the freezing of its financial institution accounts. The federal government stated on the time that the group repeatedly violated native legal guidelines by circumventing the laws beneath which international entities can obtain donations from overseas.

Sunita Kumar, a spokeswoman for the Missionaries of Charity within the jap metropolis of Kolkata, the place it’s primarily based, expressed confidence on Tuesday that the licensing challenge may very well be resolved. She stated the charity’s work wouldn’t be affected instantly, although it will get a big chunk of its earnings from abroad donors. “There’s sufficient regionally additionally that’s given, so we will deal with that,” she stated, with out explaining how lengthy it could be capable to maintain its work with solely native donations.

In keeping with authorities filings, international donations accounted for over $13 million of the charity’s earnings within the monetary yr that ended March 2021. It was not clear what proportion of the whole that’s, because the charity doesn’t reveal that determine.

Mother Teresa, a Roman Catholic nun, based the Missionaries of Charity in 1950. She was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979 in recognition of her work caring for the poor and the sick, and declared a saint in 2016, 9 years after her demise.

The nonprofit gives important care and medical infrastructure in a rustic the place the health system struggled to maintain up with the rising wants of its 1.4 billion folks, even earlier than the arrival of Covid-19. India’s devastating second wave of the coronavirus killed a whole bunch of hundreds of individuals.

This month, the police in western state of Gujarat stated they have been investigating a complaint towards the charity for forcing ladies in a shelter residence to learn the Bible and put on a cross — allegations that Ms. Kumar, the charity’s spokeswoman, rejected. “I’ve labored right here for 45 years, and nothing like that has ever occurred,” she stated.

On Monday, opposition leaders criticized the federal government’s choice.

“That is certainly stunning,” stated Shashi Tharoor, a member of Parliament from the southern state of Kerala of the primary opposition social gathering, the Indian Nationwide Congress, on Twitter. “When Mom Teresa wins a Nobel Prize, India rejoices. When her group serves the poor and destitute, the federal government cuts off their funding.”

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