External Affairs Ministry to reconsider ban on Compassion International
A day after U.S. lawmakers from Republican and Democratic parties urged India to ease strictures on Compassion International (CI), a US-based Christian charity organization at a Congressional hearing in Washington, a senior official said the government was willing to hear the representatives of the U.S.-based donor.
The body has been put on a watch list for funding NGOs involved in “religious conversions.”
The international donor and the U.S. Embassy have written a letter to the Home Ministry, demanding “proof” that NGOs funded by it were involved in Christian conversions. In the letter, CI asked for evidence of the “number of people who converted to Christianity with the help of foreign funds sent by them” and said whenever they came across “misuse” of funds, they were the first to “cut off their supply”.
The government of India had put Compassion International under its prior permission category, which makes the charity organization bound to get prior permissions from the authorities before doing any fund transfers to other NGOs based in India.
Compassion started its India operations in 1968 and for the last 48 years, the NGO has been working among children to break the cycle of poverty.
The US-based NGO has made fund transfers worth $50 million per year in humanitarian aid to India, funding nearly 145,000 sponsored children in some of Indian’s most impoverished and remote regions. It has over a few hundreds of staffs and more than 580 child development centers in the country.
Compassion International, headquartered in Colorado Springs, Colorado, functions in 26 countries such as Bolivia, Colombia, Mexico, Haiti, Kenya, and India.