A Texas-based Hindu charity reportedly held a local fundraiser in Frisco, Texas last month, circulating a flyer that listed "the destruction of illegal Christian churches" as one of its goals.
American Family News (AFN) reports a coalition of Texas Christian and interfaith leaders are now calling for congressional lawmakers to investigate the nonprofit Global Hindu Heritage Foundation (GHHF).
The Federation of Indian American Christian Organization in North America (FIACONA) alleges that the GHHF is raising money in the U.S. to destroy churches in India, forcing Christians there to convert to Hinduism.
The Christian Post (CP) obtained a copy of FIACONA's Dec. 13 letter addressed to U.S. Republican Sens. Ted Cruz and John Cornyn, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R), the Internal Revenue Service and others, in which it alleges GHHF is "one of many Hindu supremacist groups" using the U.S. as an "operating base" to promote violence against Christians in India.
The GHHF was founded in 2006. It advocates an ideology known as Hindutva, or extremist Hindu supremacism, which holds that India belongs solely to Hindus to the exclusion of an estimated 220 million Indian Christians and Muslims, according to the statement.
The letter — which was also co-signed by Church of The Way in Frisco and Concerned Indian American Christians in DFW — accused GHHF and similar groups of "funding and actively promoting" attacks on churches in India, including vandalizing prayer spaces, harassing Sunday worshippers, molesting women and breaking into church buildings, according to the CP.
A reported copy of an invitation to a Nov. 27 event hosted by the GHHF was also revealed by the FIACONA's news conference on Dec. 13. Besides including the GHHF's logo and contact information for chairman Dr. Prakasarao Velagapudi, the invitation shows that part of the dinner event's agenda included "Ghar Vapsi," which is the forced religious conversion of Indian Christians and Muslims to Hinduism and Sikhism.
"We find it extremely disturbing and dangerous that GHHF would use U.S. soil and Texas land to explicitly advertise their goal to cause such great harm to Indian Christians, who already face enormous persecution daily," the letter said, according to the CP.
In an email to the Denton Record-Chronicle, Velagapudi said his group "has not raised funds to demolish churches, implied or sent threats to anyone or any other organization."
He also claimed, "his group brought to the attention of India's government that some churches might have been built illegally, and that the government acknowledged that the structures — in a major pilgrimage center for Hindus — were constructed without permits."
"Would unpermitted construction of religious buildings be allowed in other holy places such as the Vatican or Mecca?" Velagapudi told the Record-Chronicle. "The law of India states that the government has the right to demolish illegally constructed buildings, and what action the government takes in the end is not the purview of the GHHF."
Even though Christian churches were mentioned on the flyer, independent journalist Pieter Friedrich told AFN that Christians are not the only ones in danger.
"This organization is pushing such an agenda at a time … when religious minorities in India, especially Muslims and Christians, are facing an impending genocide at the hands of the country's currently predominating Hindu supremacist movement," he noted.
Friedrich appeared at the Frisco City Council meeting on Dec. 6 to warn them about the GHHF.
"Just last week, right here in Frisco, Texas, we had an American nonprofit organization fundraising to support the demolition of churches in India at a time when Indian Christians are falling under the knife day by day by day," he said.
"The agenda of the Global Hindu Heritage Foundation will almost certainly contribute to the persecution of Christians in India. I urge the Frisco City Council to have the courage to proclaim the GHHF's hateful agenda has no place in Frisco, in Texas, in America, or in the world," Friedrich explained. "If you demonstrate such courage of conviction in standing up for the principles of truth, justice and religious freedom, the city of Frisco could potentially have a real-world impact to uplift the suffering and bleeding minorities of Christians and Muslims in India."
The journalist wrote in a tweet: "On 6 December, 100s packed @CityOfFriscoTx city hall to warn that Global Hindu Heritage Foundation, a nonprofit based in Frisco, is openly fundraising to support the demolition of churches in India at a time when Indian Christians are falling under the knife day by day by day."
On 6 December, 100s packed @CityOfFriscoTx city hall to warn that Global Hindu Heritage Foundation, a nonprofit based in Frisco, is openly fundraising to support the demolition of churches in India at a time when Indian Christians are falling under the knife day by day by day. pic.twitter.com/7Vocu1A8Uk
— Pieter Friedrich (@FriedrichPieter) December 7, 2022
He also posted a video of the part of the city council meeting to YouTube in which a dozen speakers from the Christian, Hindu, Muslim, and Sikh communities expressed their outrage that such a fundraiser was held in their city.
"I ask the city council to stand with Indian minorities and Christians that live in Frisco for we are hurt and tormented by the fact that organized planning is being done in the name of charity to demolish 75 churches," one man who identified himself as an American Indian, said as he addressed the council. "As leaders of the community, council members, you all have the responsibility to stand against wrong and take action. We all heard the Pledge of Allegiance 'under God,' we're talking about demolishing houses of God."
The speaker told Frisco city leaders they should condemn this display of anti-Christian hate and bigotry; seek an immediate investigation and legal action into the organization for violating its 501(C)(3) status for funding hate and enabling violence, and to take the necessary steps to ensure that such events do not happen in the future.
As CBN News has reported over the last several years, Hindu extremists have attacked churches and even entire Christian communities, severely beating men, women, and children. The extremists have also murdered several Christians, including a pastor who was found dead in the street in July of 2021. He was ambushed, beaten, and fatally wounded in the back of the head with a sharp weapon.
India ranks as the 10th most risky nation in the world for Christian believers, according to Open Doors USA's 2022 World Watch List, which ranks countries where persecution is most prevalent.
"The persecution of Christians in India is intensifying as Hindu extremists aim to cleanse the country of their presence and influence," the World Watch List explained. "The driving force behind this is Hindutva, an ideology that disregards Indian Christians and other religious minorities as true Indians because they have allegiances that lie outside India, and asserts the country should be purified of their presence."
CBN News has reached out to the GHHF for comment. We'll post it here if we hear back.
Meanwhile, the Assemblies of God India Fellowship of North America has started a petition to oppose Hindu supremacist fundraising in the U.S.A.