Ravi Zacharias International Ministries and its India FCRA Connections

Recently, the Ravi Zacharias International Ministries (RZIM), headquartered in Georgia, USA admitted that its deceased founder, Ravi Zacharias had indulged in sexual misconduct. RZIM is a tax-exempt charity in USA (EIN=13-3200719). In its Form 990 filed for 2015, it describes its mission as “to reach and challenge those who shape the ideas of culture with the credibility of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The Ministry is intended to touch both the heart and intellect of the thinkers and influencers of society.

Thus, it is clear that RZIM is not a run-of-the-mill Ministry. It influences the influencers towards the Christian Mission. 

Given that the famous Apologetics Guru Ravi Zacharias hailed from India, one would have expected Indian media to follow up on the RZIM story from USA and do its own original work in India. Alas! Originality is a rare commodity in current day Desh unfortunately and Indian mainstream media is not an exception.

In Schedule F, Part V of its Form 990, RZIM states it has international affiliates in Hong Kong, India, Turkey, Austria, UK, Singapore and Canada. The Supplemental Information also adds: “The Ministry also has a benevolence wing, Wellspring International, whose mission is to come alongside existing organizations who are aiding women and children in underprivileged situations overseas”.

This Post examines the list of Indian FCRA-NGOs connected to RZIM and its International offices. We shall also examine ‘donations’ from Wellspring International to our FCRA-NGOs.

All data presented here, are, as usual, based on the annual FCRA returns filed by FCRA-NGOs with the Ministry of Home Affairs which is thanked for hosting the same for anyone to view and download at http://fcraonline.nic.in 

This Post is just to inform readers of the FCRA recipients of RZIM. Nothing more or less is stated and/or implied. We pass no judgements on any of the individuals nor of the entities which are mentioned in this Post.

Let us dig into the data.

The chief affiliate of RZIM in India is RZIM Life Focus Society (RZIMLFS), Mogappair (West), Chennai. Its FCRA Registration No. is: TN/231650466. During the period 2006-2018, it had received nearly Rs. 40.8 Crore from RZIM-USA and Rs. 6.3 Crore from RZIM-Canada. In this period, RZIMLFS received only very small ‘donations’ from other foreign entities, making our characterization of it as a RZIM affiliate, appropriate.

Table 1. RZIM Life Focus Society

RZIM LIFE FOCUS SOCIETY, TN/231650466
Receipts from RZIM Inc, Georgia, USA & RZIM-Ontario-Canada
YearFrom USA (Rs.)From Canada (Rs.)Total Unspent Foreign Funds (Rs.)
20184314232520610000
20173571621412335331
20163430558417921874
20155698642939113693
20145275440021070746
20132397124310504371
20122754177515400956
2011567183131305364140692770
201016695703162024967372597
2009103749351245339765043
20081921001152482714169009
20071794441133597611276482
200613329823126181714013160
Total40869116662935737

Who runs RZIMLFS? The signatory in its FC4 returns is a Shalini Manohar. However, its Darpan entry (accessed January 05, 2021) mentions the following names in its Board: Shanthi Thomas (Chair), Kannegi Packianathan (Secretary), Nathan Robinson Andrews (Vice-Chair), Sanjay Patra (Treasurer) and Biju George, Joshua Madan Samuel and Sunita Nair as Members. We must mention here that we are aware of at least two of these names in other contexts.

A screenshot of the Darpan entry of RZIMLFS is given below.

Another entity which has received donations from RZIM is South Asian Institute of Advanced Christian Studies (SAIACS), Bengaluru, KA/94420397. It has also received secondary transfer funds from RZIMLFS. Its direct receipts from RZIM-USA during 2015-2017 is Rs. 91 lakh.

Bombay Teen Challenge, Mumbai, MH/83780534 is a FCRA-NGO which works on anti-trafficking and related issues. Its chief functionary is a KK Devaraj. It does not have a Darpan entry yet. It has received Rs. 1.98 Crore totally in the period 2015-2018 from RZIM-USA.

An entity related to RZIM-USA is Wellspring International. It has ‘donated’ Rs. 4.45 Crore total during the period 2015-2018 to Little Drops, Chennai, TN/75900804. Its chief functionary is a C Selvaraj Bovas. Edgar Jones Paul and M. Ramesh are listed as other Board Members on Darpan. 

Agni Raksha in Bengaluru is a FCRA-NGO, KA/9442103. It has received Rs. 5.8 Crore during 2015-2018 from Wellspring Internaitonal. Agni Raksha appears to be working for the welfare of burn victims. 

Zamar Educational and Charitable Trust, Chennai, TN/75901166 has received Rs. 9.28 Crore from Wellspring International during 2015-2018. Durai Samson is the Chief Functionary and Regina Samson is listed as a Trustee on Darpan. 

Ravi Zacharias International Ministries and its India FCRA Connections

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