Senior Congress leader P Chidambaram on Wednesday said that the Bharatiya Janata Party-led government was targeting Christians in India after the home ministry refused to renew the Missionaries of Charity’s permission to receive funds from abroad.
“After Muslims, Christians are the new target of the Hindutva brigade,” he said in a tweet.
Chidambaram said that the refusal of permission to the non-governmental organisations had revealed the government’s “bias and prejudice against Christian charity work”.
He added: “The rejection of renewal to MoC [Missionaries of Charity] is a direct attack on NGOs who are doing yeoman service for the ‘poor and wretched’ of India’.”
The Missionaries of Charity, founded by Mother Teresa, runs more than 240 homes for orphans, the destitute and AIDS patients across India. On Monday, it had asked its all its centres to not operate the organisation’s foreign contribution accounts after the home ministry refused to renew the permission to receive funds from abroad.
The ministry said in a press release that the organisation’s application was refused for failing to meet the eligibility conditions under Foreign Contribution Regulation Act 2010 and Foreign Contribution Regulation Rules 2011.
Meanwhile, the Missionaries of Charity said that its Foreign Contribution Regulation Act registration had not been suspended or cancelled. The organisation said that it had asked its units not to operate any accounts that receive foreign contributions “until the matter is resolved” as it wanted to “ensure there is no lapse”.
However, Trinamool Congress MP Derek O’Brien claimed that the Central government had pressured the Missionaries of Charity to issue the statement as a form of “damage control”.
Attacks on Christians
A fact-finding report released on December 5 found that 305 attacks had taken place on the members of the Christian community in India between January and September this year.
The report, “Christians Under Attack in India”, was a joint initiative of non-governmental organisations Association for Protection of Civil Rights, the United Christian Forum and United Against Hate.
The report also stated that of the 305 cases, 66 incidents were reported from Uttar Pradesh, followed by 47 from Chhattisgarh and 32 from Karnataka.
There was also a spate of attacks on Christians around Christmas in other states.
Hindutva group members disrupted Christmas celebrations in two schools in Gurugram in Haryana and Pandavapura in Karnataka on Saturday. A day later, a statue of Jesus Christ at the Holy Redeemer Church in Haryana’s Ambala was broken by vandals.