Strict regulations on foreign funding and discrimination against Christian ministries in India is leaving many of India’s Christian ministries cut off from the outside world. Since last year, 24,000 NGOs have lost their ability to receive foreign funding under new regulations implemented by the current BJP-led government. In many cases, these NGOs have not been able to meet the difficult reporting standards set out by the new regulations. In other cases, such as the case of Compassion International, their ability to work in India was curtailed because of the government’s discrimination against Christian ministries and organizations.
10/14/2017 India (Mission Network News) – You’ve heard us talk about Christian ministries being kicked out of India, including Compassion International earlier this year. A report from India Briefing last month shows that 24,000 NGOs have now lost their licenses under the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act in the last year. That is one-third of the NGOs that previously existed in India before the FCRA.
Many organizations lost their NGO status in India for simply not filing the proper paperwork. But the NGO reporting requirements have shifting demands and sometimes sudden deadlines. Ministries have shared it seems like these are hurdles meant to make it increasingly difficult for non-Hindu groups to stay in the country.
One of the high-profile cases was Compassion International whose license in India was revoked earlier this year. They were carrying out ministry to vulnerable children through local partners in the country.
The Voice of the Martyrs USA’s Todd Nettleton explains, “Many of those local partners were rejected from a license to accept funding from outside the country. So what the Indian government basically did is cut off the flow of funds that were helping those Christian organizations do that ministry on the ground in India. Because of that, many of those organizations have had to stop the ministry. Many of the outside groups have had to stop funding ministry in India because that money is not allowed to be transferred into the country.”
Since India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi took power in 2014, hostilities against Christians have nearly doubled. His background with radical Hindu nationalists and the RSS have emboldened those groups in their push to make India a totally Hindu nation.
Nettleton says, “Obviously the local Church is picking up that mantle and carrying it forward and sharing the Gospel. Thankfully, there is a great history of Christianity in India. There are churches and groups that have been operating for decades that are ready to pick that mantle up and carry it forward. But it is a challenge.”
The challenge comes when the local Church has to sometimes carry on ministry initiatives that were supported by other churches and organizations outside the country. In that, we need to pray for God to bless these ministry initiatives, and even seek out other Christian ministries to support that are still able to send funds to India.