Earlier this week, the Indian press reported that 20,000 NGOs had been cancelled by Prime Minister Modi’s crusade against corruption. According to those reports, only 13,000 NGOs remain as approved by the government.
It is unclear if any of the NGOs connected to mission giant Gospel for Asia has been caught up in the crack down. The government’s Home Ministry website provides lists of about 12,000 NGOs which are not now approved and none of the GFA organizations are listed. However, given the reports of 20,000 cancelled, presumably more will be announced in the days ahead.
In looking for information about the drastic measures, I learned that Gospel for Asia in India is now called Ayana Charitable Trust (see this blog post at India Happenings). To my knowledge, this name change was not disclosed to donors outside of India. The Gospel for Asia – India website is not functional and hasn’t been for months. Apparently, donations from America, Canada and around the world are being sent to Believers’ Church as well as a handful of NGOs in India, all affiliated with Believers’ Church.
Apparently, Gospel for Asia isn’t operating as GFA in India.
Recent government filings indicate no foreign contributions to Ayana Charitable Trust. For instance, look at this report filed in the last quarter of FY 2015-2016.
However, in April 2016 the Deccan Chronicle reported robust contributions for 2014-2015 to Ayana Charitable Trust, Believers’ Church, Love India Ministry and Last Hour Ministry, all affiliated with Believers’ Church. This reflects donations from GFA in Wills Point, TX to these NGOs. The Chronicle reported the donations to Ayana and not the old name of Gospel for Asia. However, as noted above, Ayana reported no contributions in the last quarter of FY 2015-2016.
It is unclear why GFA has changed the name in India. Creating multiple NGOs and changing their names does make it harder to track donations. Given the intense scrutiny of GFA’s activities (leading to expulsion from the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability), making it hard to track activities might be a defensive strategy.