Gospel for Asia Update: First Lawsuit Settlements Checks Go Out; Foot Washing for the Metropolitan; Still No Audited Financial Statement

Gospel for Asia news:

Refund Checks

During the week of October 28, former donors to Gospel for Asia received the first of two checks as a part of the massive $37 million fraud lawsuit settlement. The second check should go out sometime in the first half of next year.

Shortly after receiving their checks, those same donors promptly received a mailing asking for them to re-gift those funds to GFA. One such donor posted a partial photo of his letter.

I heard from nearly a dozen donors who were upset with this tactic. On the other hand, because GFA continues to do it, I suspect that it is working for them.

Foot Washing Up

According to a witness to this scene, it is customary for people of a lower caste to wash the feet of visitors of a higher caste. Apparently, the Metropolitan, aka Moran Mor Athanasius Yohan I, aka K.P. Yohannan is of a higher caste.

I asked the witness to this if Yohannan returned the gesture but according to this informant, he did not.

Audited Financial Statement and Charity Registration

Gospel for Asia continues to solicit funds from former, current, and new donors. However, they have not released an audited financial statement since 2013. They have not disclosed to donors that their field partners (Believers Easter Church and Ayana Charitable Trust — formerly Gospel for Asia India) had their charity registrations revoked in 2017. This means those two field partners cannot receive charitable donations from outside of India.  Gospel for Asia has never disclosed how American donations are getting to needy people in India. Given GFA’s history, donors should demand an answer to this question.

I am aware that there are other charitable shell organizations in India which GFA-USA can send money to. However, they have no web presence or track record, there is no way to examine their practices. There is no way for a donor to know if they are reliable or are spending funds according to good practices or donor intent. GFA refuses to release audited financial statements. They are not required to file IRS 990 forms since they are classified (inaccurately in my opinion) as a fraternal/religious organization.

Since GFA was removed from the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability for violating financial management standards, the limited oversight involved in that membership is now absent. There is no transparency for donors. Donors should ask themselves why an organization that claims to have nothing to hide hides everything.