India Forces NGOs to Not Engage in Religious Conversions
09/19/2019 India (International Christian Concern) – Earlier this week, India’s Home Ministry announced new, stricter rules regulating the activities of foreign-funded NGOs. According to these new rules, all individuals working for NGOs must pledge, on a notarized paper, that they will not engage in religious conversions or promote sectarian discord.
Many Christian NGOs have expressed grave concern over the announcement of these new rules. Christian leaders feel that the rules are meant to target Christian organizations.
“These new modifications will reignite fears that NGOs will be selectively targeted and their FCRA registration cancelled and their bank accounts frozen,” Sajan K. George, President of the Global Council of Indian Christians, told Asia News. “Every organization whose goals can be interpreted in the broadest sense of sectarian discord, or with accusations of conversion or as a simple ‘violation’ will be included.”
“Transparency in the functioning of NGOs is important and essential, but these new changes seem to be made solely for the purpose of hitting minority-run organizations,” George concluded.
To date, the BJP-led government in India has been widely criticized for its antagonistic relationship with NGOs. Groups such as Compassion International, Green Peace, and the Ford Foundation have all been brought into conflict with the government due to their religious, human rights, or environmental activities. According to some estimates, the BJP-led government has shut down some 18,000 NGOs operating in India since 2014.
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