Compassion International begins withdrawing its operations In India

Compassion International begins withdrawing its operations In India

Compassion International, a Christian child development charity today confirmed that it is taking steps toward ending its child sponsorship programmes in India, with its final day of operations being March 15. Compassion’s programmes have benefitted more than 280,000 children and their families during its 48-year history within the country.

In May 2016, India’s Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) began blocking Compassion from sending money to its two country offices and 589 church partners throughout the country. The Indian government put Compassion on its prior approval list, which requires the ministry to obtain approval from the MHA for each transaction. But any requested approvals have been denied, hindering the organisation from paying its staff or funding its programmes.

For nearly a year, Compassion has sought every possible opportunity to resolve the situation, including gaining the support of U.S. officials and speaking to UK MPs including the UK Foreign Office. Last summer, former US Secretary of State John Kerry spoke with Indian officials on behalf of Compassion. And on December 6, 2016, Compassion’s General Counsel testified before the US House Foreign Affairs Committee in a special hearing to bring light to the situation. However, the Indian government has not lifted its restrictions.

The decision to close its India operations impacts nearly 147,000 babies, children and young adults currently registered in Compassion’s child development programmes, as well as 127 staff.

Compassion hopes that it can one day resume working in India by serving the needs of children living in poverty there.

“Although the doors of our projects are closing in India, we can gratefully reflect on all that’s been achieved in almost fifty years of ministry” said Compassion UK CEO Justin Dowds, “Throughout the years, generous sponsors have helped more than 280,0000 children to be connected to their local project, giving them education, healthcare, nutritional support and much more. I believe that generations of children in India will go on to have a fruitful impact in the lives of their families, their communities and their country because of Compassion’s work across the nation. Even though Compassion can no longer walk side-by-side with these children, as Christians, we know with confidence that God is with always them. We do not grieve without hope; we trust that God will continue to work through His people in India in remarkable ways, practically serving the ones who need it most.”

Compassion UK is one of 12 global partners of Compassion International.

Please contact Ella Dickinson on 07840 203332 or via email at for more quotes or information.

Becca Stanley

Words by Becca Stanley


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Compassion UK Christian Child Development, registered charity in England and Wales (1077216) and Scotland (SC045059). A company limited by guarantee, Registered in England and Wales company number 03719092. Registered address: Compassion House, Barley Way, Fleet, Hampshire, GU51 2UT.