Gospel for Tribals Social Service Society is accused of illegally receiving foreign contributions and conversion of local Janjatis in Khammam dist of Telangana. LRPF has filed a complainst with MHA
A complaint has been filed by Legal Rights Protection Forum (LRPF) with FCRA Division (Ministry of Home Affairs) and a copy sent to Union Home Secretary against Gospel for Tribals Social Service Society represented by its President (Chief Functionary) and Bishop Mr. Jacob Marineni. The said organization is actively involved in religious Conversions of innocent Janjatis in agency areas of Khammam District in Telangana.
LRPF investigation also found through the FC Returns of said NGO (submitted to MHA) that they had established and were running a Poultry Layer Farm with Foreign Funds which is a serious violation of FCRA Act. The accused Evangelical organisation's preachers have indulged in hate filled speeches against Hindus and Hindu custome at several international platforms.
LRPF findings are broadly under violations under FCRA, hate speech against Hindus, violation of Indian Visa rules and illegal conversions which are punishable under India laws.
Violations under FCRA
The organisation has been running a commercial poultry layer farm of huge capacity (2 lakh poultry birds as per one of their videos). Funds for this commercial activity were obtained out of FCRA funds. This is a serious violation under section 8 (1) (a) of FCRA Act, 2010. The income from the above commercial activity has been utilised for the NGO’s various activities including conversion by allurement.
Till 2013-14, this NGO has received funds only for “Educational and Social” purposes. But is has not used the funds either for the stated objectives of the NGO or the purpose for which the donation was received under FCRA. Instead it has used the funds for constructing commercial poultry farms, planting churches, training Christian religious preachers, unethical conversions and acquiring huge fixed assets.
One of the strange features of the functioning of this NGO is that every year huge sums are being spent on acquiring physical assets like land/buildings etc., while very little is being spent on the objectives of the association and for the purpose for which funds are being obtained from other countries. The NGO has been buying/selling land on a regular basis. A scrutiny of its books of accounts reveal huge fund flows in this regard. The reasons for such huge transactions will become clear only if the books of accounts of the NGO for the last 15 years are scrutinised thoroughly.
Though the NGO claims to be serving thousands of people, bulk of the expenditure is on construction of buildings, payment of salaries to Christian religious preachers apart from commercial activity of layer poultry farm. For example, in 2018-19, expenditure on Christian religious preachers for salary etc., was Rs. 412.92 lakhs while in the past, expenditure on widows/ leprosy patients/old age home never exceeded Rs. 10.00 lakhs per annum. All proofs have been provided by LRPF as an annexure to its complait to the MHA.
The NGO claims to be running 29 orphanages with 6000+ orphans in various states. The veracity of this claim has to be verified as they have not shown any proof of the same in any of their videos/ websites or fund-raising speeches made abroad. This NGO has received over Rs.1.00 crore in FCRA funds each year but has not displayed data regarding receipts/utilisation of the same in public domain. This is clear violation of FCRA Rule -13.
Hate speech against Hindus
Bishop Mr. Jacob Marineni, President of GTSSS has made hate speeches against Hindus and Hindu customs regularly at various forums across the world
In order to raise funds, the chief executive, Bishop Jacob has made highly derogatory statements about the country, about Hindus, Tribal, their Cultural Beliefs, Practices and Customs. Constant reference is made to Hindus burning churches, killing Christians. Using translators, Bishop Jacob has toured extensively in most European countries / USA and made hate speeches & derogatory remarks in several languages. These fund-raising speeches contain lot of anti-India, anti- Hindu statements says the LRPF complaint.
LRPF says that the NGO has indulged in large scale conversions by inducement and allurement of orphans, poorer sections of the society, preaching of Gospel, planting churches, creating a huge team of foot-soldiers to induce people into converting into Christianity.
LRPF investigation of the videos and speeches of Bishop Mr. Jacob Marineni, has made it abundantly clear that all the orphans shown in the videos have been converted to Christianity and are forced to sing gospel, bible verses. It is heart wrenching sight to see children being forced sing Christian religious verses/ hymns before being served food. Does an orphanage have the right to convert minor children who have come to take shelter with them?
Illegal conversions of Janjatis and violation of Visa rules
The NGO has claimed to be training minor children as Bible Graduates, conducting thousands of conversions to Christianity, planting thousands of churches in several states. 1500 churches, 1100 missionaries and 2,00,000 converts to Christianity. None of these activities figure as the activities registered by the NGO in Govt. of India, Darpan NGO website.
The said NGO has been bringing in foreign nationals on tourist visa to preach Gospel, to take part in conversion, baptism activities. This is clear violation of visa rules.
In the guise of helping orphans, widows, leprosy patients etc., this NGO has set up an elaborate network of foot soldiers, prayer houses for indulging in massive conversion of non-Christians into Christianity. His speeches have clearly demonstrated his hatred and disdain for Hindu religion and its followers.
The CEO of the said NGO is personally involved in Christian Religious conversion of minors and adults into Christianity by allurement, inducement and threatening Hindus of incurring divine displeasure if they do not convert, says LRPF complaint. But he has been giving wrong annual declaration that he did not participate in such activities. This is clear violation of Clause 4(a)(ii) of Section 12 of FCRA Act, 2010 points out LRPF.
MHA requested to act against Gospel for Tribals Social Service Society
In view of the violations and illegal actions of the NGO, LRPF has requested strict action against the organisation and inspection of its facilities and activities. LRPF has requested the following action from the FCRA Director and the Union Home Secretary:
- Inspect orphanages purported to be run by this NGO and ascertain exact number of orphans
- Freeze all bank accounts of this NGO / stop all inflows for evangelist, church planting, preacher salaries etc.,
- Order ban on sale/transfer of huge assets acquired through FCRA funds, especially the assets of commercial poultry farm.
- Release FCRA funds only for running orphanages and schools.
- Order extensive audit of the books of account of the NGO for the last 15 years, the assets of key executives of the NGO, their families, close associates, especially Bishop Jacob, his income tax returns.
- Launch prosecution of key members of the NGO for indulging in activities aimed at conversion through inducement or force, either directly or indirectly, from one religious’ faith to another;
- Launch Prosecution of key members of the NGO for making of false statement, declaration or delivering false accounts.
The LRPF has attached year-wise details of FCRA funds received by the NGO between 2011-2019, its utilisation, and a list of video links containing anti-Hindu speeches of its members along with its letter of complaint against the NGO.