Shutting down of Compassion International: What the controversy is all about

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New Delhi | March 9, 2017 11:25 AM

The ministry has been active in India for almost 48 years but was forced to close its doors after continuous allegations by Hindu extremist groups.

Compassion International, what is Compassion International, why is Compassion International being shut, why Compassion International is closingCompassion International will shut down its operations in India next week. (Source: Compassion International website)

After the Indian government denied the transfer of funds into the country, Compassion International is about to shut down its operations in India next week. The official website of Compassion International says ‘it is a child advocacy ministry that pairs compassionate people with those who are suffering from poverty. The ministry releases children from spiritual, economic, social, and physical poverty. The goal is for each child to become a responsible and fulfilled adult.’ So why is that an organisation that works for the welfare of poor has to be shut down?

The ministry has been active in India for almost 48 years but was forced to close its doors after continuous allegations by Hindu extremist groups to converting people to Christianity. The ministry was also under scrutiny for its misuse of funds. The Income Tax officials revealed in 2015, Caruna Bal Vikas (CBV) was receiving a funding of Rs 10 million per year from Compassion International but only 10 percent of that amount was being used for child development and the rest was diverted to other organisations.

Watch the entire journey of Compassion International in India:

Even though India always had a strong law against the use of foreign aid more data was found around 2013 right before the Narendra Modi government took over. Since then, it has had a very strong stand on this issue and has cancelled the registrations of more than 10,000 non-governmental groups, mostly small ones, in 2015. In 2015, income tax officials also conducted raids seeking evidence that this money was being used to convert Indian families.

However, the Compassion International President and CEO Santiago Jimmy Mellado is shocked by the incident. While speaking to Christianity Today he said, “I feel frustrated.” He revealed that the ministry was put in the list of organisations that need government’s approval to transfer funds last year in February but the permission to do so was denied. He believes that negotiations with Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh or R.S.S. made things worse for them. “We understand that the B.J.P. and the R.S.S. are tied together somehow, so it seems to us that we also need to be talking to the R.S.S. Wow, am I negotiating with the government or am I negotiating with an ideological movement that is fueling the government? ” said Mellado.

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