Believers Church dismisses media reports

‘Projects of Church being audited, mistakes pointed out by I-T dept. will be rectified’

Published - November 09, 2020 11:37 pm IST - PATHANAMTHITTA

The Believers Eastern Church on Monday dismissed reports on the Income Tax authorities unearthing massive irregularities, including real estate transactions involving unaccounted cash, and requested the media to desist from ‘fabricating reports that are either half-true or totally fake.’

In a video message, Church spokesperson Sijo Panthappallil said the raids would continue for at least a couple of months and all projects of the Church, including its charity initiatives, were being subjected to audit. “If the I-T authorities point out mistakes, they will rectified through discussions within the Church Episcopal Council,” he said.

66 locations

The IT officials reportedly seized unexplained cash worth several crores of rupees from the institutions under the Church. The action, which began on November 5, covered 66 locations across Kerala, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Karnataka, Chandigarh, Punjab, and Telangana.

An official statement said the searches followed credible information that the group had received donations from abroad ostensibly for helping the poor and for evangelical purposes. It, however, was siphoning off such tax-exempted funds to unaccounted cash transactions in, among others, real estate deals.

Headed by Metropolitan Archbishop Athanasius Yohan 1 (K.P. Yohannan), the Church has been on the radar of the government for allegedly receiving several crores of rupees in foreign funding through the NGOs run by it. In 2017, the Ministry of Home Affairs had barred the church and three NGOs associated with it from receiving foreign funds.

0 / 0
Sign in to unlock member-only benefits!
  • Access 10 free stories every month
  • Save stories to read later
  • Access to comment on every story
  • Sign-up/manage your newsletter subscriptions with a single click
  • Get notified by email for early access to discounts & offers on our products
Sign in


Comments have to be in English, and in full sentences. They cannot be abusive or personal. Please abide by our community guidelines for posting your comments.

We have migrated to a new commenting platform. If you are already a registered user of The Hindu and logged in, you may continue to engage with our articles. If you do not have an account please register and login to post comments. Users can access their older comments by logging into their accounts on Vuukle.