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Anti-Christian Hysteria Has Grown: Foreign Media on Missionaries of Charity Row

"Christian pastors have been attacked & church services disrupted in recent months," The Guardian report read.

Updated
India
2 min read
Anti-Christian Hysteria Has Grown: Foreign Media on Missionaries of Charity Row
i

Missionaries of Charity, a religious congregation, set up by Mother Teresa in 1950, on Monday, 27 December, said in a statement that they have been denied a renewal of their Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA) registration by the central government.

This, they said, had led them to ask their centres not to operate their foreign currency accounts.

The congregation was denied a renewal of their FCRA registration on Christmas day, 25 December. This renewal is necessary for the acceptance and utilisation of foreign contributions. West Bengal Chief Minister (CM) Mamata Banerjee had also expressed shock over the same.

Several international media houses of repute, such as The Guardian, BBC, Time, have also highlighted the issue. We take a look at what they have to say about the same.

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India Bans Mother Teresa Charity From Receiving Funds From Abroad (The Guardian)

Highlighting that the latest issue comes at a time when a "wave of anti-Christian intolerance and violence has been spreading across India", The Guardian report said:

"Christian pastors have been attacked and church services violently disrupted in recent months as anti-Christian hysteria has grown, and over Christmas, there was an unprecedented spate of attacks against the Christian community, including the vandalising of a statue of Jesus Christ."

The report also added that in the last few years, the Narendra Modi-led Bharatiya Janata Party government had "put a tight rein on NGOs receiving foreign funding", especially those that have been critical of the government in the past.

India Blocks Foreign Funding for Mother Teresa Charity (BBC)

Citing the example of Greenpeace and Amnesty International, whose accounts had been frozen by the Indian government last year, the BBC report said:

"The government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi has sought to squeeze foreign funding for charities and other NGOs based in India."

Stating that there have been several attacks on minority communities throughout the country, the report added," According to the Evangelical Fellowship of India, attacks have been prominent in the southern state of Karnataka, with nearly 40 reports of threats or violence."

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India's Government Bars Mother Teresa's Charity From Receiving Foreign Funds (TIME)

TIME, too, highlighted that this was not the first time a charitable organisation or rights group had lost its license to receive funding for its activities from overseas donors.

"Since it came to power in 2014, Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government has cracked down on hundreds of NGOs. Last year Amnesty International shut down its India operations after accusing the government of 'constant harassment', including freezing its bank accounts," the report said.

Indian Authorities to Block Foreign Funding for Mother Teresa’s Charity (The Washington Post)

Reporting on the same, The Washington Post said that the "decision came amid what some Christian leaders call an increasingly hostile environment for their religion in the majority-Hindu country now governed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party, which has deep Hindu nationalist roots."

Further, the report quoted Bishop M Jagjivan, moderator of the National Christian Council, highlighting that what were once routine foreign-funding approvals are now increasingly being rejected forcing institutions, including church-run orphanages to be shut down.

Jagjivan was quoted as saying, “They are thinking that opposing Christianity is patriotism."

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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