Indian government restores foreign funding licensing of Missionaries of Charity

iNDICA News Bureau-


After a countrywide outcry, the government of India has renewed the FCRA (Foreign Contribution Regulation Act) registration of the Missionaries of Charity, the Kolkata-headquartered nonprofit founded by the late Mother Teresa.

The new registration of the organization is valid from Jan 1, 2022, till the end of 2026, allowing the charity to resume receiving and using donations from outside India.

On Christmas last year, the country’s home ministry had refused to renew the charity’s registration, claiming that it had received some ‘adverse inputs’, shocking many around the world.

Two days later, the ministry issued a statement that renewal was refused “for not meeting the eligibility conditions under FCRA 2010 and Foreign Contribution Regulation Rules 2011”.

The charity’s registration was valid up to Oct 31, 2021, the ministry said, and “was subsequently extended up to Dec 31, 2021, along with other FCRA associations whose renewal applications were pending”.

Last Saturday, the ministry said that as of Jan 7, there were 16,908 organizations with active FCRA licenses in the country and the Missionaries of Charity were among them.

Sunita Kumar, the spokesperson for the charity, said, “We are delighted that the central government restored our FCRA registration. People who are donating know it is for the poor. They also raised their voices, asking why this had happened.”

The refusal to renew the FCRA registration, which is needed by nongovernmental organizations to receive foreign funding, had led to an outcry, with many in the country and outside expressing shock.

The organization was set up in 1950 by Mother Teresa, who was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979 ‘for bringing help to suffering humanity.

Politicians from the ruling BJP and affiliated groups have accused the charity of proselytization and of illegally sending children abroad for adoption.

On Dec 12, a police complaint was lodged against it in Baroda under the Gujarat Freedom of Religion Act, 2003, for “hurting Hindu religious sentiments” and “luring young girls towards Christianity” at a shelter home it runs in the western India city. The organization rejected the charges.