Friday, January 28

India re-authorizes foreign funding for organization created by Mother Teresa

(Belga) India reauthorized foreign funding for a charity founded by Mother Teresa, weeks after a hiatus seen by critics as further evidence of harassment of Christians under the Hindu nationalist government.

On December 25, the charity was refused the renewal of its license allowing it to receive foreign funding, according to the Indian Ministry of the Interior. The decision underlined that the Missionaries of Charity no longer fulfilled the eligibility conditions, without giving further details. The license was eventually “renewed,” Sunita Kumar, a close associate of the late Mother Teresa, told AFP. The Missionaries of Charity is a Catholic order founded in 1950 by Mother Teresa, a Roman Catholic nun who lived and worked in India for most of her life, helping the poor in the city of Calcutta. She won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979 and was declared a saint soon after. The organization operates foster homes across India. According to the daily Hindu, it raised around 750 million dollars (662 million euros) in foreign funding in the 2020-21 fiscal year. The Modi government has been accused of blocking access to foreign funding for charities and advocacy organizations working in India. Last week, the Indian branch of the NGO Oxfam claimed to be blocked from accessing foreign funds, warning that this would have serious consequences for its humanitarian activities. And Amnesty International announced in 2020 that it would cease operations in India after the government froze its bank accounts. Human rights activists are also concerned about the increase in discrimination and violence against religious minorities since Mr. Modi came to power in 2014. The government denies any “Hindutva” draft Hindu hegemony, and insists on equal rights between all religions. (Belga)

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