The Believers Church, founded by K P Yohannan, and three NGOs associated with it have been barred from bringing in foreign funds to India with the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) cancelling their FCRA registrations.The church authorities, however, said the registrations were subject to renewal.
These NGOs Ayana Charitable Trust (formerly Gospel For Asia), Love India Ministries and Last Hour Ministry – are among 4,864 organisations that lost their FCRA registrations, which allow them to receive funds from foreign donors, during 2017, according to the MHA website.
Of these, 126 are from Kerala.
Confirming this, Fr Sijo Panthapallil, spokesperson of Believers Church, told ToI over phone from Del hi: “We are not bring ing foreign funds, as there is a standing re vision order [on the FCRA registrations, normally given for a five-year period and then renewed thereafter.]” During FY16, Believers Church and associated organisations had received a whopping Rs 1,348.65 crore as foreign aid. In fact, Ayana Charitable Trust (formerly Gospel For Asia) was the single largest recipient of foreign aid in the country as it received Rs 826.27 crore during the year. Similarly, Believers Church had received Rs 342.64 crore, Last Hour Ministry Rs 103.51 crore and Love India Ministries Rs 76.23 crore during FY16.
The statutory filings with the MHA showed that all these four organisations of Yohannan are very rich.
Between these companies, they had registered a total cash inflow of Rs 2,397.33 crore during FY16, which includes fresh foreign funds, transfers from other local sources and contributions brought forward from the previous year and their interest.
During the JanuaryMarch period of 2017, Believers Church received Rs 192.50 crore and a further Rs 24.28 crore between April and June of 2017, the FCRA data showed.
However, Fr Panthapallil said though the MHA website has advertised that the regis trations of the four organisations are cancelled, they are still under revision. According to him, the registrations of these organisations were last renewed in 2016.
He said he got three letters from the MHA on the issue so far and the latest was in August. “They might take a decision within a week’s time. We are sure that we will get the registrations back next week,” he said. “Our FCRA registrations are under revision for the last one year. They had sent us a letter asking for documents and we have submitted the required documents.”
Fr Panthapallil said they had submitted a huge cache of documents, weighing 60kg, to MHA two months ago. “Then they demanded four further documents, which we had submitted on September 4, 2017,” he said.
MHA had cancelled FCRA registrations of six organisations in 2016 and 10,011 in 2015.