The future of Mother Teresa's Missionaries of Charity in India stands in balance after the government said it would not renew its permit for foreign funding.
Mama Teresa, who was ordained by Pope Francis in 2016, has received numerous accolades for her work for the sick and dying, including the 1979 Nobel Peace Prize. Born a Albanian Catholic nun, he founded the Missionaries of Charity in Kolkata in 1950, where he lived for most of his life, prior to his death in 1997.
With more than 5,000 nuns worldwide in 120 countries, charity provides education, medical care, social assistance, and assistance to the poor.
An application to rehabilitate the charity was rejected on December 25 after "negative views were identified," the government said in a statement. It did not specify the type of its effects.
Pope Francis Predicts Mother Teresa's Holiness
MARCH 16, 201600: 15
NBC News contacted the Foreign Ministry's Department of Foreign Affairs for more information on the decision but did not respond.
The decision to block the grant came two weeks after an investigation into allegations of religious conversion in one of the children's homes by a community-based organization in Gujarat province.
A complaint was filed against the organization after Priyank Kanoongo, head of the National Commission for the Protection of Child Rights, claimed that non-Christian children were being taught the Bible.
A spokesman for the charity declined to comment on the allegations.
Missionaries of Charity monks distributed food and food to the poor and needy in Kolkata on Tuesday.
Missionaries of Charity monks distributed food and food to the poor and needy in Kolkata on Tuesday. Bikas Das / AP
Missionaries of Charity later said it had asked its institutions not to work on external donation accounts until the matter was resolved.
The Secretary-General of the Evangelical Fellowship of India, Jayesh Lal, condemned the decision. "The fact that the Christmas season was chosen for consultation," the decision "speaks volumes," he said.
“Mother St. Teresa is probably the most famous icon of the Indian church in recent times, ”he said. "Add to this his regular announcements by right-wing leaders of Hindutva as part of their social dialogue and one gets a sense of where all this is coming from."
Hindutva is a right-wing sect that sees minority religions as a threat and aims to build a Hindu nation.
According to Lal, there were more than 15 attacks on Christians on Christmas Day alone. India is home to the second largest Catholic population in Asia after the Philippines.
Since the election of the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, there has been a spate of attacks on religious minorities, with Muslims regularly facing violence, discrimination and legal intimidation at the hands of Hindutva nationalists.
Members of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, a longtime militant group supporting the "Hindutva," are known for marching on drumming and horned streets. AFP via Getty Images
There have been more than 300 attacks on the Christian community in the first nine months of 2021, according to a recent report compiled by a group of Christian non-governmental organizations. There are more than 20 million Christians in India, making up less than 3 percent of the nearly 1.4 billion people, according to 2011 census data.
Eight states have enacted anti-reform laws over the past few decades, making religious conversion a crime by force or “seduction” and recently passed another anti-reform bill in Karnataka, a southern state governed by Modi’s Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party. According to the Evangelical Fellowship of India, Karnataka will be the 12th district in India to pass the law.
Laws have been criticized for creating a hostile environment for minors, as there is often no evidence needed to support allegations of forced conversion.
In recent years, the Modi government has intensified its scrutiny of non-profit groups receiving foreign funding. As of 2017, more than 6,600 humanitarian organizations have been denied access to foreign funding, Reuters reported.