Portal Yugaparivartan which has been publishing some great material on issues facing Hinduism, has come out with a breaking story today. The story mentions a Pastor Nathan Rehn” of Bless India. Pastor Nathan Rehn is the founder of Bless India Ministries Incorporated (BIMI), 9729 Garis Shop Road, Hagerstown, MD 21740, USA.
This quick Post is to lay bare the financial flows of BIMI to India via FCRA. You could check out previous posts here (or elsewhere), to try and understand what FCRA is etc.
BIMI is a 501c(3) organization. Its EIN is 02-0758339.
BIMI has sent funds to a Christ the King of Kings Ministries Welfare Association (CKKMWA), 11-160, Ashok Nagar, Gajuwaka, Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh-530026 during the period 2007 to 2010. CKKMWA has a FCRA Registration number of AP/010350118. The following Table summarizes the flow of funds to CKKMWA.
A screenshot (see below) from the 2007-08 FC6 return of CKKMWA demonstrates CKKMWA’s receipts from BIMI.
- BIMI reports to have received from “Others-USA” a sum of ~ Rs. 1 lakh in 2006-07. The same is not discussed here as there is no evidence to connect this remittance to BIMI.
- In the years 2007, 2008 and 2009, BIMI was the sole donor to CKKMWA.
- CKMWWA has received a total of ~Rs. 1.64 Crore from BIMI during 2007-2010.
- In 2010, a Spirit of Church Community Church, Pennsylvania became a co-donor.
- CKKMWA (AP/10350118) has not filed FC6 (or FC4) returns for the years 2011-12, 2012-13, 2013-14 and 2014-15 yet. The returns for each year are due on December 31st. Thus, the FC6 return for 2011-12 was due on December 31, 2012.
- CKKMWA’s FCRA registration is active, as checked on June 10, 2016.
- Christ the King of Kings Ministries Welfare Association (CKKMWA) is registered in FCRA as a “Social” organization. It has no religious character. This flies in the face of fact that it has spent money on “Maintenance of priests/preachers” (see screen-shot from its 2008-2009 FC6 return below.
- The much-acclaimed (undeservingly so, imho) Darpan portal of NitiAayog does not have any entry for CKKMWA. Thus, we cannot know who owns/runs it via any Government sources in India. The situation with State Government records on charitable Trusts/Societies/Associations on issues of transparency is even worse. Let us not digress.
- Three URLs (url1, url2, url3) related to CKKMWA show two associated names: Devadas Mekala and Subhakar Mekala.
- Interestingly, in this Note to its donors, BIMI mentions that it has discontinued financial support to Mekala’s ministry (Author’s Note: i.e., CKKMWA) due to “sin issues” (Author’s note: financial misappropriation?)
- The Form-990 (tax return to be filed by 501c(3) organizations in USA) for the year 2012 of BIMI reveals that it gave a loan of $105,000 to S. & D. Mekala (presumably Subhakar and Devadas Mekala). Could this be the “sin issues” referred above? We do not know. Its screenshot is:
- The same Form-990 of BIMI shows that it continued to support (financially of course), CKKMWA in 2012. BIMI also affirms that it brought volunteers (likely Evangelical Tourists aka Mission Trippers) “to various parts of India for the specific goal of expanding the work and reaching out in new areas of India”. (Author’s Note: *Reaching* is a technical word. It means introducing non-Christians to the Gospel). Its screenshot is:
- What is BIMI’s motto? Let us end this Post with a screenshot of its aims & objectives as stated in its tax return to the Internal Revenue Service (tax agency of USA). Screenshot from its 2012 return:
BIMI used to financially support CKKMWA via FCRA. It stopped doing so, post 2012 due to “sin issues” of CKKMWA.
Where would I place BIMI or CKKMWA in the Zoo of Evangelical organizations operating in India?
They would probably be in the bottom 5% pile (i.e., almost inconsequential). What does that tell you? Huh?