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India's Gov't Blocks Mother Teresa Charity From Receiving Any More Funds to Help the Poor

12-29-2021
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The Indian government has blocked a famous Catholic charity founded by Mother Teresa from receiving foreign funds, rejecting the ministry's license renewal application.

Missionaries of Charity (MoC) found out on Christmas Day that its application, which allows it to receive funds from abroad, was not considered by India's Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) due to "adverse inputs," The Guardian reports.

The rejection is just the latest shocking example of the rising discrimination against Christians in India, especially in states run by the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

In the last few years, the BJP government, led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has increased its control of non-governmental organizations in India that receive foreign funding.

According to The Guardian, Christian pastors face ongoing persecution and churches have been under attack, including the recent vandalism of a statue of Jesus Christ. 

The latest move by India's MHA drew strong criticism on social media, with parliament leader P. Chidambaram referring to the rejection as "shocking."

"Nothing can be more shocking than denying future foreign contributions to the Missionaries of Charity in Kolkata, West Bengal," he tweeted. "This is the greatest insult to the memory of Mother Teresa who devoted her life to care for the 'poor and wretched' of India."

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee tweeted that the freeze was expected to negatively impact thousands of employees and patients being cared for by the MoC.

"Shocked to hear that on Christmas, Union Ministry FROZE ALL BANK ACCOUNTS of Mother Teresa's Missionaries of Charity in India!" Banerjee wrote. "Their 22,000 patients & employees have been left without food & medicines. While the law is paramount, humanitarian efforts must not be compromised."

Twitter user Derek O'Brien shared a statement from MoC, confirming that its renewal application had been denied, and that it would not operate any foreign funding accounts "until the matter is resolved."

O'Brien also expressed his disappointment with the Ministry of Home Affairs for "its shameless damage control tactics."

Mother Teresa, who died in 1997, was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979 for her dedication to serving those in need. She founded MoC in 1950, which continues to serve the impoverished around the world.  

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