How the Church seeks to overcome the FCRA crackdown?
Conversion requires continuous funding. Most of us assume that this funding happens only from abroad. In the year 2016-2017, 25000 NGO received Rs 18065 Crore Foreign Contribution. As Per Ministry of corporate affairs in the year 2015-2016 Rs 9822 crore was spent by 2693 companies as part of CSR activity. A part of Foreign contribution comes from many multinational companies located in India. Multinational companies give the funds to a few NGOs whom they treat as an implementation partner. Companies also execute few projects directly with their own CSR team. Companies give a part of their funds to few government projects also. The biggest concern is the funds given by companies to some Christian NGOs.
The process of selecting an NGO is not transparent. Every company has a CSR committee which has a team who has to review and ensure NGOs are selected and CSR funds are allocated in a transparent manner. This rarely happens. Most partner NGOs are selected based on personal contacts and favouritism. What is really worrisome is when an NGO is connected with the church and involved in proselytizing or conversion into Christianity. It is the duty of a company to ensure that their CSR funds do not end up in conversion activities. However, many MNCs turn a blind eye to this.
Blue Dart and Oasis India
One Such Example is of Blue Dart, a prominent company in courier business which is involved in transportation and distribution of small packets to big containers across the globe. Blue Dart express had an annual income of Rs 3165 Crore and Blue Dart Aviation had an income of Rs 758 crore. Average net profit for the last there years was Rs 239 crore. As per government rules CSR expenditure has to be 2% of profit after tax. Blue dart spent Rs 4.8 crore on various CSR activities. Blue dart has divided its CSR activities into three major segments. The three segments are GoGreen, GoTeach and GoHelp. GoGreen is related to tree plantation in villages, GoTeach supports education in government schools and support education of marginalised children, GoHelp supports various activities related to health. GoTeach is divided into Blue Edge and Blue teach. GoTeach is divided into Blue Green. GoHelp is divided into Blue Homes and Blue Help.
Blue Edge activities are implemented by NGO called Oasis India, Noida Deaf Society (NDS), Hope Foundation. Blue Teach activities are implemented E & H, Peepul, Agastya Foundation, Deeds. Blue Homes activities are implemented by SOS Children’s Villages of India, St. Jude India Child Care Centres. Blue Help activities are implemented by HelpAge India, Soroptimist, Ocean Foundation, Akshaya Patra, UHRC. Blue Greens activities are implemented by Grow Trees. Out of all these The lowest is given to Akshaya Patra Rs 36000.
Oasis India is a multinational NGO, funded by its parent organisations Oasis International and Oasis ministries. In India, the stated objective of Oasis is to work for empowerment and inclusiveness. They are working against trafficking of women a mission nobody will oppose. Oasis India nowhere directly indicates on its website that it is motivated by Christian philosophy, Bible, church or Jesus. However, if carefully analysed, we can easily deduce that Oasis is a purely a Christian NGO. Oasis India received Rs 1.6 Crore from Oasis International and 21.9 Lac from Oasis Ministries, Rs 1.15 Crore from Christliche Ostmission which is clearly a Christian organisation. Most of the members in the core team are Christians. Oasis India has also been working with churches in India. In its article “Are We Radical Enough To Be Inclusive To Children?” Oasis India quotes verses from the bible and gives an example of the life of Jesus. Some of the past posts of Oasis India in social media make it clear that Oasis India is an NGO whose philosophy is based on the Bible and teachings of Jesus.
Merge Festival ’17, is a musical event of Oasis India. It was held in October 2017. It was a two-day program with a workshop and discussions. The program was held at St Andrew’s church, Egmore Chennai. Christian evangelist & musician Graham Kendrick did the workshop for songwriters. The workshop was followed by panel discussions on the topics “Should Christians be in politics?” and “Should the poor always be among us?”. Such discussion clearly show that Oasis India is engaging in activities which are against FCRA rules.
Oasis India also hosted a music concert a ticketed even by Graham Kendrick a Christian singer, shine Jesus Shine his very popular song, the event was hosted in 2016 as well as in 2017. Graham Kendrick is a native of UK and his songs are based in the Bible and in praise of Jesus. he was a founder of March for Jesus. The main aim of these sort of evangelical singers is to attract more people into Christianity through music. One cannot compare these evangelical Christian singers to Bajan or kirtana singers. As core objective of Hinduism is not proselytising.
Oasis International is a very big NGO with branches in many countries. The objective of Oasis international is very clearly stated as “Everything we do is motivated by the life, teachings and ministry of Jesus”. Oasis Zimbabwe, Oasis South Africa is working for children education in partnership with local churches. When they talk about Community Empowerment, they are supporting local churches through whom they do the transformation. This is as per their own statements. The Photo shown in oasis global website is that of an Indian girl. The Oasis Global Foundation is also managing a website called openchurch.network whose main objective is to promote the inclusive church, which means to welcome all people into the church without discrimination, to reform certain teachings in bible which led to several deaths of Native Americans, to remove the notion that Africans were cursed by the god.
Oasis India hides its Christian identity
There is nothing wrong is an organisation working and deriving motivation from religion, its scriptures or its teachers. There is nothing wrong in a trust being managed by a particular religious people. We should appreciate Oasis international to be frank and clear with its mission, but oasis India wants to pretend to be secular by not mentioning that its an organisation motivated by teaching of Jesus. There are many Christian NGO and church in India who are receiving foreign contributions, they are managed by leaders of church. But Oasis India is receiving CSR funds from a company which is registered with the ministry of corporate affairs and also public listed company. Blue dart is not an NGO or a foundation or a trust but it is a company where people from all faith work.
Oasis is motivated by life and ministry of Jesus
Hence, how can a company give its CSR funds to an NGO whose parent organisation is clearly a Christian organisation with main objective to work for spread of Christianity? The CSR committee of Blue Dart is made of Mr. Sharad Upasani, Mr. Malcolm Monteiro and Ms. Tulsi N. Mirchandaney . Blue dart has engaged Oasis for Promoting education among children, women. Why does it not engage Nele or Vanavasi Kalyan or Sewa Bharati who are also working for the same?
The other recipients of Blue Dart CSR is hope foundation which is getting Rs 12 Lac and manged by President Mr G.B. D’Souza, Secretary Mr Livin Prakash D’Sa, CEO Johnson Arokianathan. The other program of Blue dart is Blue Homes: setting up homes for orphans with its partner – SOS Children’s Villages. It have given Rs 77 Lac for works undertaken at Jammu, Srinagar,Bhuj, Raipur, Latur & Cochin. Why does not blue dart support Sewa Bharati Jammu who is running many homes for displaced children. Blue dart has give St. Jude India Child Care Centres Rs 53 Lac.
Conversion in the garb of service
A Christian NGO’s main mission is to convert people into Christianity on the pretext of service. Conversion is a big crime on society and the nation. A prominent company like Blue dart which earns thousands of crores of revenue by doing business with people of Bharat is supporting such conversion indirectly by helping NGOs whose goal is to proselytize. Is it ethical for a company to cheat Hindus who are its main customers and employees?
If every NGO and Multinational company’s CSR expenditures in India are analysed, similar stories will emerge. Conversion cannot stop until the Home Ministry and Ministry of Corporate Affairs come together and implement FCRA rules and other laws to prevent CSR funds from reaching organisations involved in the conversion.
Data related to CSR expenditure, recipient NGOs are already available with the Ministry of Home affairs and Ministry of Corporate Affairs. Central Government should proactively identify all companies like Blue Dart and NGOs like Oasis who are conniving to aid conversions in the country.