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December

It has been a year of fear in India. The trauma of mass deaths in the Covid-19 pandemic — the bodies floating down the holy River Ganges or waiting hours for their turn at cremation grounds — has not faded. By the end of the year, the fear of death in the pandemic was perhaps replaced by an uneasy feeling in the pit of the stomach over fears of being butchered by nationalist fanatic mobs whose baying was heard on Christmas Day. The politicians, government officials and police just looked on, helpless or in complicit silence, as they had done in the spring months of April and May. On Christmas Day, speaking long-distance to the Sikh community that was commemorating one of its gurus, Prime Minister Narendra Modi focused at length on the atrocities committed by medieval Muslim emperors on Hindus and Sikhs. Even as he was speaking, violent Hindu mobs, now called Hindutva elements in a generic and politically correct collective phrase, attacked, churches, congregations in prayer and groups celebrating Christmas in 16 cities and towns across India. The incidents covered states as varied as Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Delhi in the north to Assam in the far northeast and Karnataka in the

12/30/2021: The Missionaries of Charity runs many leprosy homes and orphanages in Odisha. Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has asked District Collectors to be in regular touch with organisations run by the Missionaries of Charity in Odisha. On December 30, Patnaik directed District Collectors to ensure that no inmate of these organisations suffered, especially from food security and health related distress. "Wherever needed, funds from the Chief Minister’s Relief Fund can be utilised for this purpose," the Chief Minister said. The Union Home Ministry had recently refused to renew the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA) registration of Missionaries of Charity, a Catholic religious congregation established by Nobel laureate Mother Teresa in 1950. The FCRA registration is mandatory for any NGO or association to receive foreign funds or donations. The Centre’s decision had come under criticism in various quarters. Read the story in www.frontline.thehindu.com

Read the story in National Herald The MHA order would mean that after midnight of 31st Dec, the organisation would have no funds to operate its large number of children and old people’s homes which employ thousands of Indian workers I wouldn’t know for sure if the signature of Mother Teresa of Calcutta was on the application of the Missionaries of Charity when they applied for permission under the Foreign Contributions Regulations Act, FCRA, to receive donations from people all over the world for their work with foundling babies and the dying destitute in almost every state of India. But there is little doubt that Union Home Minister Amit Shah’s personal nod would have been necessary for the cancellation of the FCRA permission. Specially as it is the Christmas season when the eyes of the world are, unfortunately, so firmly fixed on India. The small Christian community here is reeling under a fusillade of Sangh extremist violence against churches, statues of Christ, and as always, against children, women and men deep in worship, and perhaps singing lullabies to the new-born Yesu. For the record, at least 300 cases of such violence were recorded primarily from Karnataka, which is enacting an anti-conversion law targeting Muslims and

(Revised) - Fr Cedric Prakash SJ A very effective strategy of fascists and dictators from time immemorial is to denigrate, demonize, divide and destroy the other! This is particularly true where the 'other' are those who dissent, those who do selfless work which they are unable to do, or simply those they are unable to deal with! The past few weeks in India have seen several examples of how these fascists have been using every possible deed from their violent and dirty bag of tricks to terrorize minorities of the country! The Christians of India have always been a 'soft target' ; in their ascent to power since the late 1990s the BJP and their ilk in the Sangh Parivar- have systematically targeted the community in different ways and all over the country. The 'bogey' of forced conversion, the desecration of sacred objects, the attacks on Christians and their places of worship and institutions, the myriad threats, intimidation and harassments, the spreading of canard- are all part of a wider game plan to polarize the majority community and put Christians in bad light! This past month - particularly, the days before and on Christmas day- has seen a surge of this orchestrated campaign against the Christians in

The complainant alleged that they lured tribal villagers into Christianity by promising free education and treatment in missionary-run schools and hospitals. A Catholic church priest and a pastor were among three people arrested by the Madhya Pradesh Police on Sunday night for allegedly luring tribals from a village in the state’s Jhabua district to convert to Christianity, The Indian Express reported. A first information report was filed at Kalyanpura police station based on a complaint by a man identified as Tetiya Bariya. The complainant alleged that Father Jam Singh Dindore, Pastor Ansingh Ninama and a person named Mangu Mehtab Bhuriya lured tribal villagers into Christianity by promising free education and treatment in missionary-run schools and hospitals. All three of them have been charged under the Madhya Pradesh Freedom of Religion Act, 2021, popularly known as the anti-conversion law, Dinesh Rawat, who is in charge of Kalyanpura police station, told PTI. In his written application, Bariya said, “On December 26, at around 8 am Father Jam Singh Dindore called me and Surti Bai [another villager] to their prayer room and made us sit in a weekly meeting called for conversion. They sprinkled water on us and read the Bible to us.” The complainant claimed he was

12/27/2021: The Indian government on Monday "refused" to renew a permission that is vital for Mother Teresa's Missionaries of Charity (MoC) to be able to secure foreign funds, cutting off a key source the charity has depended on to run its programs for the impoverished. Nobel-laureate Mother Teresa, a Roman Catholic nun who died in 1997, founded the MoC in 1950. The charity has more than 3,000 nuns worldwide who run hospices, community kitchens, schools, leper colonies and homes for abandoned children. The government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi refused permission to the charity under the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA) on Saturday after it received some "adverse inputs", a government statement said. "While considering the MoC's renewal application, some adverse inputs were noticed," the home ministry said, without providing details. The ministry also rejected an earlier allegation of the West Bengal state chief minister Mamata Banerjee that the bank accounts of the charity were frozen. Later, the MoC in a statement confirmed their FCRA application was not renewed and that it has asked its centres not to operate any foreign contributions accounts until the matter is resolved. The move comes as hardline Hindu outfits affiliated to Modi's party have accused the MoC of leading religious

It is an attack on the poorest of the poor, said the Catholic church. Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity said on Monday that it had asked its centres across India not to operate the organisation’s foreign contribution accounts after the Ministry of Home Affairs refused to renew its permission to receive funds from abroad. The Catholic organisation runs more than 240 homes for orphans, the destitute and AIDS patients across India. The ministry said in a press release that the organisation’s application was refused on Christmas Day for failing to meet the eligibility conditions under Foreign Contribution Regulation Act 2010 and Foreign Contribution Regulation Rules 2011. “

Read the story in www.time.com Mother Teresa, founder of the Missionaries of Charity, at a hospice for the destitute and dying in Kolkata, India, in 1969. India’s government has barred the Missionaries of Charity, the Catholic religious order and philanthropic organization started by Mother Teresa, from accessing foreign donations for not meeting eligibility conditions under local laws, the federal Home Ministry said. The charity, set up by the Nobel Peace Prize winner in 1950, has its headquarters in the eastern city of Kolkata and works with some of the country’s most poor and destitute people. The group’s application to renew its license to continue getting foreign funds under India’s Foreign Contribution Regulation Act “was refused on 25 Dec. 2021 for not meeting the eligibility conditions,” the ministry said in a statement Monday. “No request / revision application has been received from Missionaries of Charity (MoC) for review of this refusal of renewal.” The Christian charity confirmed in a statement that the renewal of its FCRA application hasn’t been approved and that it has asked its centers not to operate foreign contribution accounts until the matter is resolved. The ministry’s statement gave no details on what rules the group had flouted. This is not the first time

All the bank accounts of Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity have been frozen on the behest of the central government, according to various reports. The central authorities have issued orders to cease all transactions through these bank accounts across India, leaving 22,000 patients and people without any treatment and food. The news was also confirmed on Twitter by West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, who said, “Shocked to hear that on Christmas, Union Ministry FROZE ALL BANK ACCOUNTS of Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity in India! Their 22,000 patients & employees have been left without food and medicines. While the law is paramount, humanitarian efforts must not be compromised(sic).” According to a report by ABP (a national news daily), officials of the Charity in Kolkata said that they were aware of the order but refused to comment on the matter. However, there has been no confirmation from the centre or the Home Ministry at this time.

Read the story on Thewire.in New Delhi: Incidents of anti-Christian protests, ruckus, and misdemeanor perpetrated by rightwing Hindutva organizations were reported both on news outlets and across social media in the lead up to and on Christmas Day, across states. Uttar Pradesh 1. On Christmas eve, members reportedly belonging to the Rashtriya Bajrang Dal and other rightwing groups set an effigy of Santa Claus on fire in the middle of a street in Agra while shouting “Santa Claus Murdabad”. According to a report in India Today, this was a protest against “using the ruse of Santa Claus during Christmas”. The main instigator appears to be one Ajju Chauhan, who reportedly said, “Santa [Claus] does not come bearing any gifts, his only goal is to convert the Hindus to Christianity. It’s not going to work anymore. Any attempt at conversion will not be allowed to succeed. If this is not stopped, then there will be agitations at missionary schools.” In 2015, Ajju Chauhan, whose real name is Avnindra Pratap Singh, and who was then a senior Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) leader, made headlines for organising a ‘ghar wapsi’ (return home) programme to convert ‘1,500 Muslim families’ to Hinduism. He was later reportedly sacked from the VHP

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