Charity Mother Teresa cut off from foreign money

The organization The Missionaries of Charity by Nobel Prize winner Mother Teresa is no longer allowed to receive money from abroad. The Indian government has not renewed a license for that purpose. The Catholic organization has schools, soup kitchens, orphanages and clinics for poor people throughout India. Foreign money is important to keep it running.

The rejection of the renewal of the license comes less than two weeks after the charity was accused by Hindu organizations of forced conversions of Hindus to Christianity. That would have happened in one of the girls shelters in Vadodara, in the western state of Gujarat. The Missionaries of Charity contradicts that people are forced to convert.

The governments holding back foreign donors, in which Prime Minister Modis Hindu Nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has the majority, is seen as a testament to the growing hostility against Christian organizations operating in India.

In recent years, the government has been keeping a close eye on Christian organizations and NGOs that received foreign funding, especially organizations that were critical of the government. Last year, the bank accounts of both Greenpeace and Amnesty International were frozen.

Christmas celebrations disrupted

Since the BJP came to power in 2014, according to the Indian non-profit Persecution Relief, the number of attacks against Christians has increased by 60 percent (that figure is 2019). Over 300 attacks against Christians across the country were reported in the first nine months of this year. For example, pastors were attacked and a church was destroyed. In recent days, Christmas celebrations have been disrupted and a statue of Jesus destroyed.

In India, the last census in 2018 lived more than 1.3 billion people. The majority of the population is Hindu. About 2 percent of the population, about 24 million people, is Christian. After the Philippines, India is the largest home of the Catholic community in Asia.