A financial affair led the National Religious Broadcasters (NRB), an international association of Christian broadcasting networks, to cut ties with Gospel for Asia (GFA), a missionary organization that aims to spread the gospel throughout Asia. In the beginning of February, a lawsuit claiming the misuse of donor money was filed against Gospel for Asia.
Dallas-based Stanley Law Group filed a class action case against GFA claiming that they have hoaxed hundreds of millions of dollars in charity, and redirected the money for the personal needs of founder and international director of GFA, K.P. Yohannan.
Matthew and Jennifer Dickson are named the main plaintiffs in the lawsuit, accusing defendants along with Yohannan: his wife, Gisela; his son, Daniel Punnose; Board member David Carroll; and director of the Canadian affiliate of GFA, Pat Emerick, of violating RICO and the Arkansas Deceptive Trade Practices Act.
During the years 2007 through 2013, GFA collected over $450,000,000 in funding from the U.S. alone from donors who either made a one-time payment or monthly contributions.
Agency Johnnie Moore, president of public relations firm the KAIROS Company, spoke on behalf of GFA, stating that they are working diligently to clear “false accusations.” He asserts, “Gospel for Asia can document the legal and ethical use of funds donated and clearly answer every question.”
CEO of NRB, Jerry A. Johnson, addressed Yohannan in a letter, saying, “While you have stated that you are diligently working to obtain the necessary information and to comply with the standards, you have not been able to do so at this time. Therefore, it is with a heavy heart that I must advise you that NRB must terminate your membership at this time.” In order to be an obedient witness of Christ to the world, the NRB states, the association lays out the rule for all members, and states that members need to handle their financial duties in a “manner that ensures integrity, accountability, and transparency.” Furthermore, Johnson adds, “you may reapply for membership when you are able to demonstrate that you meet our financial accountability standards.”
The NRB's decision to end its contract with GFA comes three months after the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability (ECFA) terminated their contract with GFA claiming that GFA did not meet five of seven important rules for the EFCA.
“Gospel for Asia has enjoyed, and continues to enjoy a wonderful relationship with the NRB and personal relationship with its leadership. Unfortunately, the NRB’s membership requirements are tethered to ECFA accreditation," Moore said.
Despite the ongoing issue GFA faces, Moore said he is grateful for “many of Gospel for Asia’s friends and supporters [who] have chosen to stand with the organization and provide greater and great degrees of prayer and support as the ministry works to put this all to rest, for good.”
Moore said that GFA is in the process of resolving this case within a week.