01/10/2022 India (International Christian Concern) – According to Times Now News, the Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP), a Hindu nationalist organization, slammed a state government in India for providing funds to the Missionaries of Charity, a charity founded by Mother Teresa.
On December 25, India’s Ministry of Home Affairs ruled that the Missionaries of Charity no longer met the eligibility requirements for foreign donations under the Foreign Contributions Regulation Act. The ministry claimed unspecified “adverse inputs” as the reasoning for the decision.
In early December, the Missionaries of Charity were put under investigation in Gujarat after several false complaints were made against its shelters. Specifically, the shelters were accused of forcing girls to read the Bible and recite Christian prayers. Missionaries of Charity have denied these allegations as false and an attempt to besmirch the legacy of Mother Teresa.
In early January, the National Catholic Register reported the Missionaries of Charity were rationing the distribution of aid to India’s poor following the government’s decision to block foreign donations.
To ease the impact of the government’s decision to block foreign donations, several state governments, including the government in Odisha, decided to provide funding for the Missionaries of Charity to continue their critical operations. Odisha’s Chief Minister, Naveen Patnaik, approved 7,900,000 Rupees (approximately $106,750.00 USD) to be given to the Missionaries of Charity in Odisha from the Chief Minister’s Relief Fund.
Hindu nationalists, including leaders in the VHP, strongly objected to this decision. Perpetuating the false accusations against the Missionaries of Charity, VHP Secretary Milind Parande said, “Missionaries of Charity are involved in conversion. No Chief Minister has the right to give the money of Hindus to an organization that converts them.”
The VHP’s statement comes one day after the Missionaries of Charity regained permission to receive foreign donations. Yesterday, Derek O’Brien, a lawmaker from the opposition Trinamool Congress Party, tweeted that the Missionaries of Charity was back on the list of the approved organizations to receive foreign donations.
Missionaries of Charity was founded by Mother Teresa in Kolkata in 1950. The charity now runs hundreds of shelters across India where “the poorest of the poor” receive care.
In recent years, the legacy of Mother Teresa and her works in India have come under assault by radical Hindu nationalists. Nationalists falsely claim Mother Teresa was involved in the fraudulent conversion of India’s poor and desperate to Christianity. These statements and accusations are meant to cast a negative light on Mother Teresa and India’s Christian community.
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