Gospel for Asia in Canadian Court Hearing: Once You Find Out the Truth About Your Donation, Stop Giving If You Don’t Like It

Today, a Canadian court held a hearing to decide whether or not a lawsuit would be certified as a class action suit. Attorney Paul Guy represented plaintiff Greg Zentner in the effort to certify the case as a class action suit representing all donors to Gospel for Asia – Canada.

Attorney Jeffrey Leon represented GFA – Canada and argued that the suit should not be certified as a class action suit. Leon also made an argument that donors have no standing to sue since they suffer no loss when they donate, even to a fraudulent organization. Leon told Justice Cavanaugh that Canadian authorities could weigh in and prosecute fraud if it exists. However, individual donors don’t have a loss to sue over, according to Leon.

It was curious to me that Leon sought to cast doubt on the identity of GFA in India during the recent raids on Believers’ Church. Even though the funds sent to Believers’ Church came from GFA, he sought to distance K.P. Yohannan’s organization in India from GFA-Canada. Overall, it appears to be a large part GFA-Canada’s defense to pretend there is no connection between GFA-Canada, GFA-World, Believers’ Church and the various trusts in India.

Yohannan’s organizations are controlled by him and his family. Various national groups send their money to Believers’ Church in India (or at least did when Believers’ Church was allowed to accept those funds). Money was donated in Canada with the intention of sending it to India for use by Believers’ Church. If donors checked one box for use of their funds (e.g., poor people), but those funds went for building for profit hospitals and schools or a purpose other than checked by the donor, it is hard to escape the conclusion that the charity misled the donor.

Read the briefs (“facta” in Canada) associated with the case thus far.

Factum for Greg Zentner (plaintiff)

Respondents Factum Pat Emerick and GFA World

Factum of the  United States Defendants, Gospel for Asia, Kadappiliaril Punnose Yohannan, Daniel Punnose, and David Carroll

Reply Factum of Greg Zentner

Observations

Jeffrey Leon said K.P. Yohannan doesn’t have control over the GFA/Believers Church organizations. Historically, Yohannan has been in control, but I can see claiming he isn’t or hasn’t been in charge is an ongoing part of GFA’s defense. However, I have shown in numerous blog posts that Yohannan is involved in nearly all of the GFA organizations around the world. He has said in the past he doesn’t sit on the boards in India; however, I showed that he does (or at least did in 2015).

It is stunning that GFA’s lawyers cast doubt on the charities raided by India authorities. As a legal strategy, one can claim that hearsay can’t be admitted, but this is deceptive. Of course, the Indian government raided Believers’ Church, the same church that is run by K.P. Yohannan and takes funds from GFA-Canada and GFA affiliated organizations around the world. What do all of the donations go for? They are sent to India. Since 2017, those funds have been received illegally. Who knew about that? Who approved it? Who used those funds despite them being accepted from Canada against Indian law? Is anybody really going to try to make a case that K.P. Yohannan didn’t authorize all of those actions?

GFA’s case summed up by attorney Jeffrey Leon is this: If you don’t like how we used your donations, then don’t give us any more money. And if you want to claim we used it fraudulently, then tell it to the regulatory agencies. Don’t sue us for fraud.

What a smug, dismissive line of thinking. How are donors supposed to know what they are donating to if GFA doesn’t tell them? When donors find out that funds are used for purposes other than specified, it is too late.

 

Gospel for Asia Invades Africa

On April 13, Gospel for Asia — now called GFA World — published a news release with this title:

Gospel for Asia — Now GFA World — Launches its First-Ever Mission in Africa

Yohannan and company have launched a business in Rwanda and plan more in other African nations:

Our work in Africa begins with GFA World Child Sponsorship in the slums of Kigali, the capital of Rwanda, one of the most densely populated African nations. This will be the first of many projects, each with the same vision we started with, to meet tangible needs of precious people and show God’s love to those who need it most.

With over 40 years of experience, GFA is equipped to meet the expanding needs of Africa. We’ll soon start training national missionaries, clean water projects, medical ministry, education for the underprivileged, women’s empowerment, and community development projects. Our aim is to help empower the poor to break the cycle of poverty and show God’s love.

And Rwanda is just the beginning of an exciting new missions frontier. We plan to expand ministry to six other nations in Africa during the next few years.

And why not? In 2015, GFA lost their membership in the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability. Yohannan’s organization settled a U.S. class action fraud lawsuit for $37-million in 2019. In 2020, GFA became the defendant in a fraud lawsuit brought in Canada. Also in 2020, this time in India, GFA affiliated organizations (including Yohannan’s homes)  were raided as a part of a government investigation into how the organization used their foreign contributions. This investigation is ongoing and Yohannan is being sought for questioning by the Indian government. No wonder Yohannan and GFA World want to get out of North America and Asia and on to a new continent.

In 2017, the Indian government removed GFA’s charity status and ability to receive foreign contributions. However, GFA never told donors about the government action and continued to send funds to shadow organizations in India. With the recent government raids and investigation, GFA’s status in India may be in doubt.

With problems in North America and Asia, it appears that Africa is Yohannan’s next act.