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The Indian government has reinstated a licence for the charity founded by Mother Teresa, allowing it to once again receive donations from overseas.

Mother Teresa founded the Missionaries of Charity in Kolkata in 1950 and it relies heavily on foreign donations to carry out its work among the poor. 

The licence was revoked by India’s Ministry of Home Affairs in December – a move that jeopardized its operations.

The Ministry of Home Affairs claimed that the charity did not meet the requirements for a licence under the Foreign Contributions Regulation Act (FCRA). 

The decision was widely criticised, with British parliamentarians last week calling for it to be reversed. 

Vatican News reports that the charity has now been cleared under FCRA rules to continue receiving foreign funding. 

Spokesperson for the charity, Sunita Kumar, told the Union of Catholic Asia News agency she was pleased with the reversal.

“We never expected that our registration could be cancelled but it happened,” she said. 

“We are happy that the restoration of our license happened without much delay.”

In a debate in the House of Lords last week, Lord Harries of Pentregarth, the former Bishop of Oxford, raised concerns about the influence of Hindu nationalism.

He asked the British government to press India on why the licence was withdrawn in the first place.

“The work of Mother Theresa and the charity she founded, the Missionaries of Charity, is renowned throughout the world. It works among some of the poorest and most destitute people on earth,” he said.

“What possible reason could the Indian government have for wanting to hinder and block its work?

“The rumour, I am afraid, is that it is continuing pressure from Hindu nationalism, because people might come into contact with Christianity and eventually convert to it.

“We need to know from the Indian government precisely, in writing, what their reasons are so that we can examine the validity of their reasoning.”

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