A video of a Christian pastor named Praveen Chakravarthy had been doing rounds on social media where he claims that he has converted entire villages in Andhra and has also desecrated the idols of Hindu gods and felt good doing it. The video had caused huge consternation with people calling for his arrest and ban his NGO. He heads the NGO called Sylom Blind Center. Later the pastor apologized and as expected the Andhra police have taken no action against him.
Pastor Praveen Chakravarthy serves as the President of the Sylom Blind Center which is the official Indian Partner to ‘Water of Life’, a Global Organization whose head quarters is in USA. The nexus of NGOs who profess social service but aid religious conversion cannot be more blatant that this case. The pastor and his ‘Sylom Pastors League’ group claim to have Baptized 15,000 Indians in the year 2012. He also claims that 37,000 Indians were baptized in 2013 followed by 292,000 in 2014, 6,00,003 in 2015 so on.
Praveen Chakravarthy had confessed that he indulged in Christian Religious Conversions in villages of Andhra Pradesh through service activities. He also revealed that he has destroyed & beheaded many Hindu Idols and converted entire village to Christianity and renamed it as Christ Village in a video that was shared on social media. The said video was uploaded by ‘Water of Life’ Organization on https://vimeo.com/143403579 with the description defining India as a dangerous country. The description says: “Here is the special video message from Pastor Praveen that we showed to OFF THE MAP Banquet guests on October 27. But it’s a great video for everyday! Learn how fresh water is giving Indian believers the opportunity to share the Gospel in this often dangerous country.”
The NGO ‘Water of Life’ is the prime donor of ‘Sylom Blind Center’ in its official website clearly says as follows: “Water of Life seeks to share the love of Christ with the unreached and untouchable. Giving clean water is our method, but making disciples is our mission” (Link: https://www.givefreshwater.org/statement-of-faith/). Though such nexus is not new it is evident that elements in the state government are sympathetic to their cause as no action has been taken against the pastor or the NGO even after several complaints.
Conversion mafia has a field day in AP
The nexus of ‘Water of Life’ and its Indian partner Sylom Blind Center is not the only case. There are several other NGOs who follow this model in Andhra and are indulging in converting villagers through nefarious methods.
Another NGO ‘Set Free Alliance’ also registered in United States funds ‘Sylom Blind Center’. The Set Free Alliance in the name of distributing fresh water and involving in child rescue activities, indulges in religious conversions in villages and tribal areas of India.
Ever since YSRCP under Jagan came to power in Andhra, Evangelists seem to have gained renewed energy to indulge in open conversions. Local media reports suggest the a high ranking minister in Jagan’s cabinet had restrained the police from filing cases against religious conversion activities.
LRPF files complaint to rein in NGOs
Legal Rights Protection Forum which keeps a track on such conversion activities in the country has now filed a complaint with the Union Home Secretary and the Director of FCRA to rein in such NGOs who claim to do social service but aid and abet religious conversions.
In its complaint the LRPF provides the details of the pastor, his work and the foreign NGOs which aid conversion activities through their Indian partners which are a violation of the FCRA. Demanding prompt action, LPRF says that Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (2nd Amendment 2019) Rules say that the all functionaries, office bearers and member of the FCRA Licensed Organization should file an affidavit that they have not been involved Religious Conversions. But here in this case it is a clear violation of the FCRA Rules.
However, these recent cases prove that these rules have been clearly violated. In the complaint signed by its Working President AS Santosh, LRPF then requests the Union Home Secretary and the Director of FCRA to do the following:
1. Kindly to examine the matter of Religious Conversions by the said organizations and cancel the FCRA License.
2. Freeze the bank accounts of ‘Sylom Blind Center’ in order to prevent their further criminal activities.
3. Direct AP State Police and concerned authorities to launch investigation into other criminal activities of Mr. Praveen Chakravarthy, the President of Sylom Blind Centre and take strict action against him.
4. Impose ban on Pastor Praveen Chakravarthy from taking responsibilities into any other NGOs in future.
With increase in religious conversion of gullible Hindus in villages of Andhra and Telangana, the Union Home Ministry has its task cut out to rein in such NGOs which are out to destroyed the social fabric of the country. Pastors who use unscrupulous methods like faith healing to convert people, they are also in violation of Indian Medical Council (Amendment) Act 2017 banning such practices. The local police and state governments too have to take strong action against pastors like Praveen Chakravarthy who hurt sentiments of Hindus to sell their success to foreign partners.