About 145,000 children have already lost its assistance with food, education, and health care.
The Indian government objects to Compassion’s Christianity, according to the ministry’s testimony to US lawmakers. Hindu nationalists have put increasing pressure on Christians in India since the election of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014. The subcontinent has been steadily moving up Open Doors’ list of places where it’s hardest to be a Christian, from No. 28 in 2014 to No. 15 this year, the highest rank it has ever held.
“An average of 40 incidents were reported per month, including pastors beaten, churches burned and Christians harassed,” stated Open Doors. “Of the 64 million Christians in India, approximately 39 million experience direct persecution.”
There doesn’t appear to be a government plan to pick up Compassion’s care for Indian children. More than 1 in 3 of India’s 1.2 billion people are children, yet India spends less on health and education than comparable emerging economies.
Of India’s roughly 472 million children, 33 million are child laborers, 80 million are out of school, and 97 million are undernourished, according to a recent petition asking Modi’s administration to spend more on children.
But while the government may not have a plan in place, that doesn’t mean the children will be abandoned entirely, said Compassion spokesperson Becca Bishop.
“[The children] may have lost Compassion’s support, but they haven’t lost the support of their local church,” she said. “Those churches, if they have the funds, may still be able to carry out a lot of the services.”
World Vision, which sponsors more than 245,000 children in India (about 6 percent of its global total), also partners with local churches, though not exclusively, spokesperson Amy Parodi told CT. So far, World Vision isn’t having problems getting foreign funding into the country, she said.
CT covered Compassion’s cash crunch in December, including how the Indian government squeezed off its foreign funding. With no way to pay for materials or staff, the organization began paring down programs last summer.