The Indian government has refused to renew a charity founded by Mother Teresa’s foreign-funding licence.
The Missionaries of Charity employ thousands of nuns to administer projects such as orphanages, schools, clinics, and hospices. On Christmas Day, India’s home ministry said that the registration had not been renewed due to negative inputs.
Hindu fundamentalists have long accused the charity of using its programmes to convert people to Christianity. The charity has disputed these allegations. It said on Monday that its renewal application had been denied and that it would not create any foreign financial accounts “until the problem is rectified.”
The Kolkata-based organisation was founded by Mother Teresa, a Roman Catholic nun from Macedonia who came to India in 1950. It is one of the world’s most well-known Catholic charities. Mother Teresa was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979 for her humanitarian work, and Pope Francis canonised her 19 years after her death.
The government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi has attempted to ban foreign donations to Indian charities and non-governmental organisations (NGOs). Due to restrictions, Greenpeace and Amnesty International’s bank accounts were frozen last year. In India, there have been several attacks on religious minorities.
There have been roughly 40 complaints of threats or violence in the southern state of Karnataka, according to the Evangelical Fellowship of India.
This year’s Christmas celebrations in India were disrupted by Hindu vigilante groups protesting outside religious gatherings and vandalising a church in northern India.
The Hindu religion is practised by the majority of Indians. However, the Christian population of the country is estimated to be over 24 million people or around 2% of the total population, and it is home to Asia’s second-largest Catholic community after the Philippines.
Purported Hindu conversion operations to Christianity and Islam have been thwarted by authorities. Several BJP-led governments have recently enacted or are considering legislation prohibiting religious conversion for marriage purposes.