Union Ministry of Home Affairs has suspended the Foreign Contribution Regulations Act (FCRA) licences of 13 NGOs after allegations were raised against them for indulging in forced religious conversions of tribals to Christianity in tribal-dominated areas.
FCRA licence allows an NGO to receive foreign funds for their work. These organizations were found to be using the acquired funds for ‘religious’ purposes. The MHA has also frozen the bank accounts of these NGOs after intelligence inputs pointed out their conversion-related activities targeting the tribal areas of several states, including Jharkhand.
A show-cause notice had been issued to these NGOs. They were asked to respond to the charges, but the MHA reportedly did not receive any reply from them before the deadline. One of the NGOs sent a late response to the notice, but MHA found it unsatisfactory.
Ministry of Home Affairs has given the 13 NGOs six months to respond to suspension notice. Based on their responses, the ministry will decide to either cancel or reinstate their FCRA licences.
FCRA’s action against conversion
As per reports, FCRA authorities have the power under Section 12(4) to suspend an NGO’s licence or an association for directly or indirectly indulging in forced or induced conversion activities from one faith to another.
The centre has recently suspended the FCRA licence of four Christian evangelical organizations, namely the Northern Evangelical Lutheran Church, Ecreosoculis North Western Gossner Evangelical, New Life Fellowship Association, and Evangelical Churches Association.
Since the Modi government came in power, it has taken action against thousands of NGOs under FCRA regulations. Some of the NGOs, including Compassion International, whose licences were cancelled or suspended, had annual contributions from foreign countries in hundreds of crores.