As fervent Hindu nationalism in India appears to be driving a growing animosity towards religious minorities such as Christians and Muslims continue, the nation’s government has blocked foreign funding to a charity founded by Catholic nun Mother Theresa.
Mother Theresa, who since her death in 1997 has been made Saint Theresa of Calcutta by the Catholic Church, founded Missionaries of Charity in 1950, which ministers to the poor and orphans and receives a majority of its funding from overseas.
The New York Times reported that while it is unclear why, the organization can no longer accept foreign donations as its license under the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act has not been renewed.
The news came at the same time as the Christmas holiday and as anti-Christian and anti-Muslim sentiment is growing around the country.
As we reported last month, many churches canceled Christmas celebrations out of fear of reprisal from Hindu nationalists, some of whom are rallying for anti-conversion laws to be passed in their states.
Anti-conversion laws are often used to target and persecute religious minorities simply for practicing or sharing their faith with others.
There have been a number of violent attacks on churches and members of the Islamic community, the Times reports.
“Anti-Christian vigilantes are sweeping through villages, storming churches, burning Christian literature, attacking schools and assaulting worshipers,” they note. “Right-wing Hindus have confronted Muslims during Friday prayers in the northern state of Haryana in recent months.”
“At a conference last week, hundreds of right-wing Hindu monks openly called for Muslims to be killed, in their quest to turn India, constitutionally a secular republic, into a Hindu nation,” the paper adds.
Under Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ruling Hindu nationalist party, India has been targeting other Christian and Muslim nonprofits and organizations in a similar manner, often citing religious conversion laws to cite groups for violations.
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