Why is Compassion International closing its doors (for now) in India?
That was the question at the heart of this week's "Crossroads" podcast (click here to tune that in), which explored some of the themes in my post this week that ran under the headline, "Compassion International and India: The New York Times leaves a UN-shaped hole." I would urge you to click here and read the original Times piece on this topic.
Does the Times piece tell us why Compassion is leaving India? Well, it does and it doesn't. And that is where things get complicated, for readers and listeners who have never worked in a newsroom.
Patience please, as we try to walk through this.
You see, there is evidence in this important Times piece that various officials in India are saying different things. The evidence offered can be interpreted in a number of different ways and it's pretty obvious that the Times team was asking questions that the authorities in the Bharatiya Janata Party didn't want to address. So, as public officials often do, they declined to answer questions.
So what do we know? Let's look at four different options.
(I) At one point, it appears that Compassion is being pushed out because of accusations that its work led to people converting to Christianity. The charity, to use Times language, was suspected of "engaging in religious conversion."
(II) However, at another another point, Compassion officials deny accusations that they are --