Ten days after blocking the renewal of a license which permits the Missionaries of Charity (Mother Teresa's sisters) to receive donations from abroad, the Indian government has lifted its ban, without any explanation.
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Mother Teresa’s sisters can once again receive donations from abroad! Ten days after the Indian government refused to renew the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA) license which permits donations from abroad for the Missionaries of Charity, it lifted the ban on January 6.
The Indian Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) did not specify the reason for the sudden change of heart. Previously, it had indicated that the Missionaries of Charity no longer met the eligibility requirements, without giving further details. The details of the registration available on the ministry’s website only mention that the charity’s approval was renewed Thursday and remains valid for the next five years.
Sunita Kumar, a spokeswoman for the Missionaries of Charity, said she was relieved by the decision but did not know what prompted the initial rejection or the renewal. “We never expected that our registration could be cancelled but it happened,” Kumar recently told UCA News. “We are happy that the restoration of our license happened without much delay,” she concluded.
The initial decision by the MHA had serious implications for the Missionaries of Charity. The organization, which runs shelters across the country, relies on foreign funding of about $750 million (662 million euros). Vatican News reports that 179 NGOs were denied the FCRA license.
After the government ban, it was feared that the Missionaries of Charity would no longer be able to fund much of their work. The order immediately encouraged its communities to freeze their spending until the Indian government responded. Some centers had resolved earlier this year to ration food to those who came to them. In recent days, many observers saw this decision as a new symptom of the political harassment of Hindu nationalists against Christians.