Government cracks down on foreign funding of Christian NGOs – News Bharati

Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant

Manmohan SinghIn a recent move, Union Home Ministry has cancelled FCRA registration of thousands of Non Government organisations (NGO) who were receiving huge foreign funds, similarly accounts of lots of NGOs are frozen and several NGOs are prohibited from receiving foreign funding. This is a huge havoc for thousands of Non Government organisations (NGO) who were receiving foreign funds.

The Home Ministry has cancelled foreign funding of 4141 out of total 39236 NGOs registered under the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act, 2010. Accounts of 20 NGOs are frozen and 60 NGOs are prohibited from applying for foreign funds under the FCRA.

Govt stern action: Kudankulam Effect

The largest block of NGOs whose FCRA has been cancelled are based in Tamil Nadu. 794 NGOs from Tamil Nadu are about 19 per cent of the total FCRA cancelled NGOs. The basis for cancellation is termed as ‘On Violation’ but it is fairly understandable that the NGO-led protests were triggered against the Kudankulam atomic power plant which is based in Tamil Nadu has prompted Government to wake up and act so heavily on foreign findings of NGOs which receive foreign funds for years.

This is the first time the Union Home Ministry has acted so heavily on the NGOs who survive on foreign funding. Notably it is considered that this stringent action has followed Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s criticism on non-governmental organisations that receive support from abroad for leading protests against the Kudankulam nuclear power plant in Tamil Nadu.

Crackdown on NGOs protesting against Kudankulam plant

The staged protests against Kudankulam nuclear power project and role of protesting NGOs which receive foreign funds has once again sparked much debated row about use of foreign funds for anti India activities.

In March 2012, the government cracked down on four NGOs for allegedly funding the massive protests that had paralysed work at the Kudankulam plant site in Tamil Nadu’s Tirunelveli district for weeks, and ordered a freeze on the bank accounts of some other NGOs.

Bishop of Tuticorin Roman Catholic Diocese Rt. Rev. Yvon Ambroise offering juice to a protester at Idinthakarai on Thursday. — Photo: A. S.Christian NGOs using foreign funds for protests

In February, Home Ministry lodged complaint against two Kanyakumari-based NGOs Tuticorin Diocesan Association and the Tuticorin Multipurpose Social Service Society, both headed by Bishop Yvon Ambroise. The other two were Rural Uplift Centre and Association (TDA) of the Latin Catholic Diocese of Tuticorin. The Tuticorin Multi-Purpose Social Service Society (TMSSS) of the diocese.

The Diocesan Association received Rs 20.60 crore between 2006 and March 31, 2011, the Social Service Society received Rs 44.14 crore as foreign funds in the same period.

France was the biggest donor to Tuticorin Diocesan Association, contributing half of the total amount it received. France-based entities gave Rs 10.30 crore while Rs 5.15 crore came from Italy. The group got Rs 3.22 crore from Germany and Rs 83 lakh from the US, the FCRA returns show. As per Media reports, the NGO claims to have spent the maximum of its funds on maintenance of priests and preachers, welfare of orphans and on holding of free immunisation camps in Tuticorin.

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa cuts Christmas cake as Archbishop Chinnappa looks on.Bishops’ foul cry of harassment

Notably, Tamil bishops told government to stop ‘harassment’ Christians. In a statement issued by A.M. Chinnappa, Archbishop of Madras-Mylapore and president of TNBC, said, “It is open secret that the central government is taking these actions against the Diocese of Tuticorin and other Christian NGOs, in the wake of the debate and dispute on the Kudankulam nuclear power project.”

PM’s candid criticism

Dr. Manmohan Singh openly condemned suspicious role of foreign funded NGOs against the developmental projects build up in India. In February 2012, Prime Minister had said, “There are NGOs, often funded from the United States and the Scandinavian countries, which are not fully appreciative of the development challenges that our country faces.” Referring to the protests at Kudankulam, he said, “the atomic energy programme has got into difficulties because these NGOs, mostly I think based in the United States, don’t appreciate need for our country to increase the energy supply.”

In its Press Release on 14 March 2012, Home Ministry press statement explained that, “Besides FCRA, 2010 and FCRR, 2011, various laws such as Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, Prevention of Money Laundering Act, Indian Penal Code and State Local Laws were added to monitor the functioning of Associations/Trusts for curbing anti-national activities in the Country.”

NewsBharati assessment

NewsBharati randomly reviewed some NGOs from the list of cancelled, prohibited and whom accounts are frozen by the Home ministry regarding FCRA.

FCRA Registration: Total NGOs Home Ministry


No. Categories of NGOs No.
1 Cultural, Economic, Educational, Social 30774
2 Religious (Buddhist), Cultural, Economic, Educational, Social 180
3 Religious (Christian), Cultural, Economic, Educational, Social 7 65
4 Religious (Hindu), Cultural, Economic, Educational, Social 738
5 Religious (Muslim), Cultural, Economic, Educational, Social 457
5 Religious (Others), Cultural, Economic, Educational, Social 301
6 Religious (Sikh), Cultural, Economic, Educational 20
7 Social 1
  Total NGOs 39236

It is also observed that many Christian NGOs have mentioned their ‘nature’ of work as Hindu (Religious), or Muslim (Religious) NGOs. For example, Church of Christ Mission in India based in Bilaspur in Chhatisgarh has registered its nature of work as  ‘Religious (Buddhist), Cultural, Educational, Social.’

Lord Jesus Christ Service Ministry which operates from Guntur in Andhra Pradesh founds in ‘Religious (Muslim), Social’ category.

Similarly NGOS like Community Rural Orient Service Society (CROSS), Chaitanya Voluntary Service Organisation, Mercy Charitable Trust, Catholic Centre, Elisabeth Children’s Home, Integrated People’s Service Society and The Rosarian Sisters Trust have registered themselves as ‘Religious (Hindu)’ organisation.

In another case, NGOs namely, Young Men’s Christian Association, Emmanuel Gospel Mission Family For Orphans, Jehovah Shammah, The Land Mark Church, Christ Faith Home For Children, St. Teresa’s Educational Trust, Divine Word Trust, Caruna Bal Vikas, Goodwill Trust, Bless, Socio Religious Guild, The Order Of The Servants Of Mary, St. John Sangam Trust, Lalguddi Christian Union, Social And Evangelical Association For Love, Society Of The Good Sheperd Sisters, Western Maharashtra Church Of Nazareth, Asylum To Indigent Masses Of The Society (AIMS), Don Bosco Luotolim Society, Springs Of Living Water, Adams Girls Hostel could be identified that they have a clear-cut Christian face. But it seems that those NGOS s want to hide their factual religious identity and mentioned themselves as ‘Religious (Others)’ category.

Pastor Peter Subbaiah: Buying babies for a dollar!Activities of NGOs

NewsBharati searched activities of Good Samaritan Evangelical and Social Welfare Association (GSEVSWA) from Andhra Pradesh. This NGO claims that it is pioneer among social and spiritual organizations in the State of Andhra Pradesh. Its website says, “Founded way back in 1979 by Pastor Rev. Peter Subbaiah, the organization aims to provide homes and education for orphan children and widows, as well as for families living in poverty.”

NewsBharati found that its accounts were frozen by the Union Home Ministry and importantly it is also prohibited from receiving foreign contributions and had been booked by the Economic Offences Wing of the Delhi Police under the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act.

Shocking facts

Most shocking fact found was involvement of the spiritual GSEVSWA and its founder Pastor Subbaiah in buying babies from a tribal group called the Lambadi and selling them to foreigners. Peter Subbaiah was arrested and placed in prison in 1999. Two women ‘social workers’ representing GSEVSWA were charged with buying Lambadi infants for relatively small sums ($15 to $45), and then receiving significantly larger sums ($220 to $440) from the orphanages for the children. Reportedly orphanages received $2000 to $3000 for each child placed in inter-country adoption. Gruesome activities of this Christian Religious NGO are also available as List of International Adoption Scandals on Wikipedia. Notably, arrested Pastor is a Congress person and works as secretary of the Chittoor District Congress (I) Committee.

According to the FIR, during the course of inspection of books of accounts and records of the association of the Delhi-based organisation, the FCRA wing of the Home Ministry found that it had violated various provisions of the Act by receiving foreign contributions amounting to Rs.41,74,097 without permission from the Central Government during 1994-95 and 2005-06.

In another case, Andhra Pradesh State government had announced a reward of Rs. 5 lakhs for anyone providing information on Savithri Samson, co-founder of the John Abraham Memorial Bethany Home, whose account is frozen. Samson was absconding selling babies and in violation of adoption guidelines in 2001.

Foreign contribution received per year

21365 NGOs received Rs.9914.19 Crore as foreign contribution in year 2007-2008. 22544 NGOS received Rs.10987.05 Crore In 2008-2009 and 21674 NGOS received Rs.10340.25 Crore  in year 2009-2010.  Notably 958 NGOs received contributions of over Rs 1 crore in 2010-11.

According to ‘Cross Purposes’, a recently published study report, 3,014 organizations received more than 1 Crore rupees for at least one year in the period 2006 – 2011. Out of them 1,134 were identified as Christian organizations. Together they received Rs. 16, 214, 96, 01,508 (16 thousand 214 Crore) in this period. 20 organizations received more than 100 Crore In this period. – NewsBharati, 30 August 2013

Kundankulam protest funded with foreign money.Misuse Of Foreign Funds For Anti India Activities – News Bharati

New Delhi, March 2: We never expected but Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh has got one stand right. At last, he has initiated the issue of the NGOs which receive foreign funds and misuse it against developmental activities.

Recently, Prime minister stated that, “American NGOs are funding the protests that hold India back from building the nuclear reactors it needs to meet fast-growing energy needs”. Dr. Manmohan Singh said this in an interview published in Science Magazine on Friday, 17 February. Among the plants suffering delays is the Kudankulam power station, which was due to open last year. Progress on the reactor has been halted by protesters over safety fears.

Prime Minister has said that, “The atomic energy programme has got into problems because these NGOs, mostly I think based in the United States, don’t appreciate the need for our country to increase the energy supply”. Prime Minister also blamed protests against genetically modified crops on groups he said were funded from the United States and Scandinavian countries.

After Prime Ministers verbal attack on NGOs and misuse of foreign funds, a debate has started in India. The Bharatiya Janata Party has demanded that the Centre come out with a ‘white paper’ on the issue of non-governmental organizations getting foreign funds and “working against public interest.”

Misuse of foreign funds against National Interest is not a new concept. Entire Catholic mission has propelled its conversion movement entirely on foreign funds. Some so-called and self-proclaimed Rights activists have gain name and fame on such foreign funds working relentlessly against the nation’s interest.

The latest report of the Home Ministry showed that more than Rs 10,000 crore was sent to India during 2009-2010, mostly from the USA and Europe to NGOs in India. The report says that while it is not proper to make sweeping generalisations, it is necessary to note that the NGO sector in India is vulnerable to the risks of money laundering and terrorist financing. “Therefore, necessary steps for rigorous enforcement as well as coordination with foreign countries for law enforcement will continue. Our efforts for coordination with State police organisations and other specialised organisations will also continue towards this direction,” the report said.

The report, approved by Union Home Secretary R.K. Singh in January 2012, revealed that major donors from abroad and receivers in India are Christian Missionaries and Church-sponsored NGOs. “The list of foreign donors is topped by the Gospel For Asia Inc of the USA (Rs 232.71 crore) followed by Fundacion Vicente Ferrer, Barcelona, Spain (Rs 228.60 crore) and the World Vision Global Centre of the USA (Rs 197.62 crore),” said the report of Home Ministry on foreign contribution and regulation for the period of year 2009-2010.

These three are evangelical organisations. The fourth largest donor, Compassion International, is also from the US (Rs131.57 core) and belongs to the same category.

The India Today, in its story ‘Freelancers of God – Independent churches mushroom across India attracting foreign funds (published on 9 May 2011) has given an account of Indian Christian missionaries who are propelling their ‘work’ to convert Hindus to Christianity with the help of foreign funds.

The India Today story says that, “The preachers are not trained in theology. They often play with the sentiments of people and lure them with incentives and create communal tension. Most new pastors work among Dalits in the region. They also widely use faith-healing methods, which are not popular among mainstream churches. Political parties such as the Congress and the Akali Dal have refused to make conversions a controversy and the VHP and Bajrang Dal have accused both parties of playing to the Christian vote bank.”

Francois GautierSenior French journalist and writer Francois Gautier reveals in his article that, “The foreign funds sent for Gospel cause has a huge but obscure impact. Out of seven states in North East India four have absolute control of the Church. Most of the North East subversive groups / Terrorist outfits including Maoists have definite connection with Evangelical groups. 45% of non-Arab foreign funds coming to India are utilized through Churches for conversion and camouflaging services, while 40% Arab foreign funds are coming to boost up Jihad and Islamic services. Christian Fathers and nuns are living most lavish life in India by utilizing the money collected from overseas in the name of service to the poor people of the third world.”

Francois Gautier has busted the myths of the so-called ‘social and human rights activists like Medha patkar. In his article ‘The Truth about Medha Patkar’, Gautier has given a reference of letter of Dr Urmilaben Patel, member of the Congress Working Committee, written to Shri Pranab Mukherjee, Minister for External Affairs. Patel wrote that, “You are kindly aware, that Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA) headed by Medha Patkar is actively involved in opposing all hydro projects in India. I have recently received material which I find quite disturbing. I specifically draw your attention into the message of Ms. Patkar using the words of “pressurizing the UPA government”, and “honouring” a Supreme Court Judge for a favourable verdict, as is explicit in the emails.”

Gautier gives details of exchange of confidential emails between Patkar and Patrick McCully, ex-Director, International Rivers Network (IRN) based at Berkeley (United States). This mail conversation exposes how Patkar ‘reports’ to Patrick every details of the case and which Judge ‘favoured’ her and should be ‘honoured’ at a function in London.

Gautier writes, “She also sends a soft copy of the judgement and the profiles of Justice C.K. Thakker and Justice Altamas Kabir. Patrick reverts on July 17 congratulating Patkar, and suggesting that five or six people associated with managing “this verdict” be honoured at a function in London (UK). The mail says: “… We must honour Judge Kabir for supporting you. Please explore the possibility. He will retire in 2013 — a very useful man for your future battles.”

It might be mentioned that the verdict was written by hon’ble Justice Kabir, says Gautier. No need to explain more on this nexus and face off of Medha Patkar. It seems that Patkar has received several international awards for fighting ‘battle’ for unknown foreign hands. India populace is totally ignorant about these kinds of facts.

Teesta SetalvadIt is always demanded to inspect the income source of the infamous Teesta Setalvad and her NGO ‘Citizen for Justice and Peace’. Teesta Setalvad is always been in clouds of mystery for her activities and how she raised funds for her NGO and how does she managed expenses of providing legal help and from which source, she got money to lure witnesses for the cases against Narendra Modi in Gujarat riots. Her bank statements with specific details are out suggesting how Setalvad allegedly used money to buy witnesses and how through manipulative activities, false submission before different probe panels and courts were allegedly filed. Again the pointer turns to the source of foreign funds. But no one wants make understand the fact.

No scope for Indian Media to escape in case of foreign funding issue. Gospels of Charity in Spain, Southern Baptist Church, World Christian Council, St. Peters Pontifical Church, Melbourne, Joshua Society, Berne, Switzerland are some of the sponsors which funds major Indian Media which ‘speaks for’ secularism and human rights in India.

The analysis of the Home Ministry’s 42-page report shows that 14,233 NGOs received foreign contribution of Rs 10,337.59 crore. The biggest fund inflow to NGOs has come from the USA (Rs 3,105.73 crore) followed by Germany (Rs 1,046.30 crore) and the UK (Rs 1,038.68 crore). These three countries have topped in the donors’ list of Home Ministry for many years.

As per the report, most the funding has been generated from Christian missionaries of USA, Germany and UK and the donor missionaries have also formed their Indian subsidiaries. The other toppers come from Italy (Rs 583.47 crore), the Netherlands (Rs 509.46 crore), Spain (Rs 437.25 crore) Switzerland (Rs 302.06 crore), Canada (Rs 297.98 crore), France (Rs 189.12 crore) and Australia (Rs 148.28). The eleventh big donor to Indian NGOs is from UAE with Rs 133.15 crore.

World Vision Chennai According to MHA figures, the funding for Christian mission agencies has shown a regular increase. Also, over 80 percent of the voluntary organisations receiving foreign funds are Christian Mission agencies. “The highest amount of foreign contribution was received by the World Vision of India, Chennai, Tamil Nadu (Rs 208.94 crore).

The Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA) was passed in 1976. This act regulates receipt of funds by non-governmental organisations (NGOs). It is managed by the Union ministry of home affairs. It is very easy for the Home Ministry to track the foreign funds and their channels in the country.

Prime minister’s remarks have sparked the battle against the Misuse of Foreign Funds for anti India activities. This battle should continue and each individual, organization should be made answerable for the source and its expenses. – NewsBharati, 3 February 2013

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