Compassion International forced to shut down operations in India
Though the ministry has been at work in India since 1968, new regulations on non-profit organizations are shutting down the operations of Compassion International in India, effective March 15.
A new restriction introduced in 2011 to the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA), a law that regulates where foreign funds can come into the country has effectively shut down the ministry's operations in a country that is in desperate need of its support.
The ministry reports that a year ago, the Indian government issued an order against Compassion requiring prior clearance from the government before funds could be transferred to their partners in India, many of them local Christian churches.
"Over the last year, we’ve done everything possible to maintain Compassion’s current ministry in India," Compassion posted in an update. "We have exhausted every available option to reach a positive resolution, including:
- Seeking the advice of legal experts in both the U.S. and India, all of whom have assured us we have kept all Indian laws
- Leveraging influential and personal relationships, including U.S. representatives and senators, the U.S. Ambassador to India and the White House Office of Faith-based Affairs
- Asking Compassion partners like you to write Congress, resulting in more than 35,000 letters sent to bring attention to this issue
- Testifying in front of the U.S. House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee, who gave us an overwhelming amount of encouragement and support
- Our staff in the India field offices stretching every last penny beyond what we thought possible to extend the programs for our children."
Despite all the effort to counter the restriction on Compassion by the FCRA, the ministry has exhausted all other resources and will be closing operations March 15 in India, an announcement that comes with much despair.
The ironic part of this whole situation is the massive need that exists in India and yet they are restricting one of the largest funders of children's services in the nation. The United Nations estimates that more than 30% of the world’s 400 million children living in extreme poverty are in India.
For now at least, that support will need to come from someone other than Compassion, save a miracle before the 15th.