The Union Home Ministry cancelled the registration of two Christian evangelist NGOs over FCRA violations. Both the evangelist NGOs, Tamil Nadu-based New Hope Foundation and Karnataka-based Holy Spirit Ministries, are heavily funded by controversial foreign donor Gospel for Asia.
Multiple lawsuits have been filed against Gospel for Asia and its global arm, Gospel for Asia World, in US and Canada over fraud and misuse of funds. Gospel for Asia’s Indian registration was scrapped in 2017 over FCRA violations.
Under the rules of the Ministry of Home Affairs, it is mandatory for any organisation which wishes to receive foreign funding to register under FCRA.
Initially, the registration is valid for five-year period and can be renewed if the record of previous five years is in order. First enacted in 1976, it was amended in 2010. The FCRA provisions were enacted to ensure there was no foreign interference in the political matters of the country.
While the Holy Spirit Ministries received over INR 49 crores worth of foreign contributions between 2017-18 and 2019-20, New Hope Foundation received more than INR 42 crores in the same period.
The Union government had informed the Lok Sabha in February this year that in the last 10 years it had cancelled the registration of over 20600 NGOs over FCRA violations. In 2016-17 and 2018-19, more than INR 58000 crores were received by the Indian NGOs. About 23000 FCRA registered NGOs are operational in the country.
After the amendments in the FCRA, NGOs, which wish to receive foreign funding, must have an existence of at least three years and spent INR 15 lakhs in voluntary activities prior to their application for registration under FCRA.