Gospel for Asia

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Gospel for Asia
Founder
K. P. Yohannan
Religions
Christianity
Scriptures
The Bible
Website
http://www.gfa.org/

Gospel for Asia (GFA) is a large Christian missionary NGO founded by K. P. Yohannan in 1978, focused on spreading the Gospel to India and Asian countries through the use of national missionaries. The organization, based in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex suburb of Carrollton, Texas, states that its primary aim is to support indigenous missions to "share the Good News of Jesus Christ with lost men, women and children throughout South Asia"[1]

GFA is present in numerous countries, including India, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Myanmar, Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, Laos and Thailand.[2]

Scholar Michael Bergunder considers it "one of the most influential missionary organizations in the second half of the 20th century".[3]

History[edit]

In 1981, its current president, K. P. Yohannan formed a branch of GFA in his native Kerala, with an Indian headquarters being set up in Tiruvalla in 1983. It is active throughout India, especially in the North, and directly administers bible colleges, whose graduates receive financial support to found new congregations. Increasing donations made GFA "one of the most financially powerful mission undertakings in India in the 1980s."[4] GFA directly supports more than 50 Bible colleges in various countries.[4][5]

In 1993, GFA began founding its own network of churches in Asia,[6] including the Believers Church which is Episcopal in governance.[7]

Vision[edit]

The goal of Gospel for Asia focuses on the formation of Asian missionaries. It embraces the claim that God himself builds his church in Asia. Although the ministry accepts trainers for Bible translation, the ministry discourages direct missions of Western countries. Its founder, Yohannan, considers that the sending of Western missionaries to areas that are inaccessible to foreign missionaries can result in a waste of resources. He also believes that the imposition of western culture and neo-colonialism should be avoided. GFA encourages donations and financial support to Christians in Asia, in order to build churches, Bible schools, organize missions and help people in Asian countries.[8][9]

Court Rulings[edit]

The operations of Gospel for Asia and Believers Church were scrutinized after Believers Church, under the guidance of Yohannan, purchased a 2000 acre rubber estate in Kerala, India.[10][11] Opponents claimed the church had diverted foreign funds to amass land for itself and for uses other than declared purposes.[12] Further, it was alleged that the rubber estate, which Believers Church purchased from Harrison's Malayalam Ltd., was on leasehold from the government and not saleable.[13] Hence, Believers Church was accused of illegally holding government land.[14] At a later time, Harrison's Malayalam was accused of forging their land title, leading to continued debate about the legality of the sale.[15]

Despite the scrutiny, no conviction was secured against Believers Church. The high court dismissed the petition claiming that Gospel for Asia had failed to account for funds, citing lack of evidence as the reason, and Gospel for Asia's compliance with regular auditing.[16] The high court also dismissed proceedings by the state government to take possession of the estate under the claim that it was government land.[17] Challenges against the title deed of Harrison Malayalam were also dismissed, absolving it of allegations of land fraud under the Foreign Exchange Regulation Act (FERA).[18] [19]

Yohannan says that the claims were politically motivated and that the workings of Gospel for Asia and Believers Church are transparent.[20][21] Further, the rubber estate is an investment to help fund social work among underdeveloped communities[11][22] and not a personal land grab as opponents have claimed.

See also[edit]

Bibliography[edit]

  • Michael Brodeur, Banning Liebscher, (2013), Gospel Light Publications, Jan 17, "Revival Culture: Prepare for the Next Great Awakening", Chapter 4, "Indigenous Leaders".
  • Yohannan, K.P. (2004). Revolution in World Missions. Gospel for Asia Books. Carrollton, Texas. ISBN 1- 59589-001-7

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.gfa.org/about/who-we-are/
  2. ^ http://www.gfa.org/regions/
  3. ^ Bergunder, Michael (2008), "The South Indian Pentecostal Movement in the Twentieth Century", Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, page 53
  4. ^ a b Bergunder, Michael (2008). The South Indian Pentecostal Movement in the Twentieth Century. Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing. ISBN 0-8028-2734-9. 
  5. ^ Philip, Shaju. "An archbishop’s spiritual factory". The Indian Express. Retrieved 30 January 2012. 
  6. ^ Anderson, Allan; Tang, Edmond (2005). Asian and Pentecostal: The Charismatic face of Christianity in Asia. Regnum Books International. ISBN 1-870345-43-6. 
  7. ^ "In Service to God". believerschurch.com. 
  8. ^ Bergunder, Michael (2008), "The South Indian Pentecostal Movement in the Twentieth Century", Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, page 54-55
  9. ^ Klaus Fiedler (1994), The Story of Faith Missions, page 404 (26)
  10. ^ "Cash scanner on evangelist". The Telegraph. 
  11. ^ a b "Cheruvally Rubber Estate". Believers Church. 
  12. ^ "Probe on into functioning of Gospel for Asia, HC told". The New Indian Express. 
  13. ^ "God’s own country". The Telegraph. 
  14. ^ "Madhyamam". Govt files petition against Harrisons, Yohanan. 
  15. ^ "Forgery case filed against Harrisons Malayalam staff". The Hindu. 
  16. ^ "HC rejects probe into income of Believers Church". The Indian Express. 
  17. ^ "Kerala HC quashes govt proceedings". The Indian Express. 
  18. ^ "Harrisons Malayalam welcomes verdict dismissing State plea on land deed". Samachar. 
  19. ^ "Harrisons Malayalam spurts as Kerala High Court dismisses a petition against the firm". Share Market India. 
  20. ^ "GFA says allegations politically motivated". Christianity Today. 
  21. ^ "An open letter to fellow Christians from K.P. Yohannan". 
  22. ^ "You Ask, We Answer - Is Gospel for Asia a Legitimate Christian Ministry? Yes!". 

External links[edit]