Another Christian NGO caught in illegal conversions activities and violating FCRA guidelines; LRPF complains against Tamil Nadu based Serve India Ministries to MHA

    25-May-2020   
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LRPF complaint against SI
Ebenezer Samuel and his evangelical organisation Serve India Ministries is accused of illegal conversions, FCRA fraud, Visa violations and use of children for their activities  
 
Close on the heels of an evangelical organisation Gospel for Tribals Social Service Society being caught indulging in illegal conversions of Janjatis, hate speech against Hindus and FCRA fraud, another Christian NGO 'Serve India Ministries' based out of Coimbatore in TN has been accused of similar activities.
 
Legal Rights Protection Forum (LRPF) has unearthed a web of illegal activities of Serve India Ministries which include illegal conversions of poor Hindus using deceit, hate speech and enticements and FCRA violations.
 
LRPF complaint letter to MHA charges Ebenezer Samuel, the head of Serve India Ministries and the NGO for being inimical to communal harmony, multi-religious, multi-ethnic society of India. He is also charged for indulging in large scale conversions using inducements, allurements, magic remedies, threat of incurring divine displeasure. LRPF investigation reveals that Ebenezer's NGO has received a sum of Rs. 48.92 crores as FCRA funds in last 10 years and these funds have been obtained mostly from USA by spreading hatred, narrating stories of miracle cure, which are illegal in India.
 

LRPF complaint against SI 
 
FCRA Violations and other financial irregularities
 
LRPF in its complaint to the MHA says that tax returns filed by the organisation in India and USA are completely different. A deliberate attempt has been made to hide the evangelist, church planting and conversion activities of the NGO, says LRPF. For example, in the USA IRS Tax Return Form 990 of 2007, the NGO has claimed tax exemption citing activities like church planting, spreading of Gospel, child sponsorship programs, training, educational programs, etc. Its 2018 USA tax returns mentions similar reasons as its programme accomplishments.
 
LRPF documents shows that the NGO is filing NIL FCRA returns in India since 2010-11 but has been filing tax returns in USA from the year 2007 onwards. Interestingly an amount of Rs. 2.76 crores was received by the NGO in 2012-13 towards celebration of National Festivals. Documents shows that for the last 4 years the NGO was investing substantial part of FCRA proceeds in fixed deposits and deriving interest from the same. To attract prospective donors, Serve India Ministries has produced 8 videos in a DVD and a book with 30 stories from India – “Journey Through India: A 30 Day Spiritual Adventure”. These were distributed for free abroad but not available to India, says the LRPF letter.

LRPF complaint against SI 
Hate Speech and Church Planting
 
In a speech delivered in 2019 in USA, Mr. Ebenezer Samuel says as: “we are involved in planting churches among the Hindus and Moslems and Buddhists and various other religious groups” (source below)
 
 
The following commentary of a video will help understand the intentions of the NGO and its Chief Functionary, Mr. Ebenezer Samuel:
 
“ .. liberating those in bondage of Satan for millenniums, poverty, demeaning caste system, child labour and enslaving pagan religions will all be overcome when God’s people pray, when thousands of Hindus and Muslims are baptised, when every village will have witness to Jesus.., worship groups multiply. Would you please pray for India to be saved, in this generation? “ (source below)
 
 
Mr. Ebenezer Samuel has, in his speeches made numerous references to church planting in totally Hindu villages, how he has attempted and succeeded in converting Hindus into Christianity.
 
In a video, Mr. Ebenezer was introduced as “80 % of India is Hindu and only 3.2 % are Christians. However, one man is determined to change that statistic forever” Hindus are routinely told of miracle cures with the power of Jesus in so and so place, you can also be cured Serve India Ministries similarly. Gullible Hindus who are suffering from health, family or financial problems fall in to Ebenezer Samuel’s trap. (Source
 
Hindus are referred to as being in “Bondage of Satan for Millenniums”, “Unsaved People”, “Unreached People”. Hindu gods are “dead gods”, “far way gods”, constantly referred to as cruel, revengeful, constantly looking out to pour out their wrath on their followers. Whenever a Hindu faces a problem, he has to figure out which of the 33 million gods he or she worships has become angry and then do Pooja to appease that angry Hindu god. Hindus are oppressed by their own Gods!
 
This is a clear offence under Sec. 508 of IPC which covers “Act caused by inducing person to believe that he will be rendered an object of the Divine displeasure". More details are provided by LRPF in its annexure.
 
Illegal conversions using young Children 

LRPF complaint against SI 
 
LRPF complaint says that the NGO works in complete violation of minor children’s legally protected status and throwing all norms of human decency to winds as the NGO led by Ebenezer Samuel has worked out a devious method to push its agenda of Christianising entire country - Use of Children.
 
In guise of conducting after school free tuitions, children are forced to go through Christian prayers, Gospel preaching, praying for Jesus etc., This project is named “Stepping Stones” and “The Egg Project”. The former has four steps: 
  • Education
  • Hygiene
  • Prayer
  • Bible Stories and Gospel 
This programme is one of the most important contributors of funds to SERVE INDIA MINISTRIES from abroad. Funds are solicited from prospective donors in USA and elsewhere citing above steps. In most of the speeches of Ebenezer Samuel / videos of the NGO, we can find constant references to this method of converting Hindus. To attract the children, eggs are given out for free. They even have a special programme to convert to Christianity families of farmers who have committed suicide.
 
Vacation Bible School is another method deployed to attract non-Christian children towards Christianity. According to the NGO, they are conducting VBS for 20,000 children each year with the explicit purpose of exposing such children to Christianity.
 
Numerous testimonies of children “Accepting Jesus” and of their parents doing so are available in videos/speeches of the NGO and Ebenezer Samuel. LRPF has provided its investigation details to the MHA in its annexures.
Other Illegal Activites  

LRPF complaint against SI
Serve India Ministries is accused of many other illegal activities. They include using Dalits of India as bait for their conversion activities. In almost all the speeches/interviews/videos of SERVE INDIA MINISTRIES, one can find references to “Dalits” and “atrocities on Dalits” by other caste Hindus. The NGO also repeatedly claims government of India as being anti-Christian and pro-Hindu.
 
The NGO has also continued to conduct its conversion activities even in states that have passed Freedom of Religion Act prohibiting such illegal conversions. Ebenezer Samuel is on record that they are doing evangelism, church planting and conversion in such states. The NGO is also accused of violation of Visa norms as many of its foreign preachers arrive in India on tourist Visas and indulge in conversion activities.
 
Given the illegal activities and FCRA violations of Serve India Ministries, LRPF requests MHA to: 
  • Immediately freeze all FCRA inflows as also the designated bank account;
  • Order a detailed enquiry into his evangelism/conversion/ miracle healing activities;
  • Order an enquiry into the assets of SERVE INDIA MINISTRIES and personal assets of Ebenezer Samuel;
  • Debar all foreign citizens who came to India on tourist visa and have participated in activities of SERVE INDIA MINISTRIES in India.
  • All miracle healing stories narrated by Ebenezer Samuel should be proved by him failing which he should be barred from life from seeking FCRA funds or hold office in any NGO. 
(All evidences and links provided by LRPF)