Extremist Hindu mobs are routinely attacking Christians on the ground that they are violating “anti-conversion” laws.
On Christmas Day the Indian government announced that it had refused to renew the foreign-funding license for Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity. The move puts at risk the very existence of the charity that has cared for so many of India’s “poorest of the poor.”
Since the announcement, the sisters have had to ration food and items that they regularly provide 600 people at their motherhouse and orphanage, according to a report from Angelus News. The sisters have appealed the denial of their license, and continue their daily routine of prayers and service.
The Indian Home Ministry’s denial of their application was based on “adverse reports” that the nuns were engaged in converting Hindus to Christianity — charges that the nuns deny. The move by the Indian government was just the most recent incident in an intensification of persecution against Christians that began when Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) came to power in 2014.
While the Constitution of the Republic of India guarantees religious freedom, Christians, who make up only 4.9% of the population, are finding this freedom openly violated.
According to Aid to the Church in Need’s 2021 Religious Freedom in the World Report, persecution of Christians in India is taking place in several different ways.
First, as in the case of the Missionaries of Charity, the Indian government is freezing the bank accounts of different organizations in accordance with the Foreign Currency Regulations Act (FCRA).
In 2020, the government used FCRA to revoke the foreign currency licenses of four Protestant charitable organizations, and one Catholic one, the Don Bosco Tribal Development Society.
Secondly, Christians are suffering religious persecution in India due to anti-conversion legislation. In eight of the 28 states in India, laws exist to curb the activities of individuals and groups engaged in converting people to Christianity through “forcible” or “fraudulent: means, including “inducement” and “allurement.”
And thirdly, human rights organizations have recorded numerous incidents in which mobs of Hindu hardliners have committed acts of vigilante justice against Christians who they say are guilty of trying to forcibly convert Hindus to their faith.