India blocks foreign donations to charity founded by Mother Teresa

(Photo: Getty/iStock)

The Indian government is blocking foreign donations to a charity founded by the late Mother Teresa. 

The Ministry of Home Affairs has refused to renew the licence of the Missionaries of Charity allowing it to receive donations from abroad.

The government claims that "adverse inputs" had been uncovered which contravene the country's Foreign Contributions Regulation Act.

The charity has been dedicated to serving "the poorest of the poor" for over 70 years and runs soup kitchens and orphanages.

According to The New York Times, it relies heavily on foreign donations to carry out its humanitarian work.  

The latest development follows a case filed against the charity by police in Gujarat state for supposedly trying to convert young girls at one of its shelters in Vadodara city.

The police also claimed that the charity's work was "hurting Hindu religious sentiments". 

"The institution has been involved in activities to hurt the religious sentiments of Hindus intentionally and with bitterness," the case claims. 

"The girls inside the Home for Girls are being lured to adopt Christianity by making them wear the cross around their neck and also placing the Bible on the table of the storeroom used by the girls, in order to compel them to read the Bible."

It adds, "It is an attempted crime to force religious conversion upon the girls."

A spokesperson for the Missionaries of Charity rejected the claims: "We have not converted anyone or forced anyone to marry into Christian faith." 

Release International, which supports persecuted Christians worldwide, this week warned that right-wing Hindu nationalism is on the rise in India and that nationalists are campaigning across the country for laws criminalising religious conversion from Hinduism. 

"These laws, which ostensibly prohibit forced conversions, are being used to prevent any form of Christian witness. They have been used as a pretext for growing militant attacks on expressions of Christianity," Release said.