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Fury over GHHF raising funds in USA to demolish churches in India

After US Global Hindu Heritage Foundation organized a fundraiser for the demolition of churches in India, 200 mostly Indian Americans condemned it at an event.

After Global Hindu Heritage Foundation organized a fundraiser for the demolition of churches in India, fury rose, over 200 mostly Indian-Americans attended the 6 December 2022 Frisco City Council meeting to back a dozen speakers from Christian, Hindu, Muslim, and Sikh communities who expressed their anger that such a fundraiser was held.

There were as many as 14 civil rights and faith-based organizations co-signing a letter to the US Senators, Representatives, State Governor, and other elected officials have demanded the FBI, Internal Revenue Service (IRS), and Department of Justice should investigate Texas-based organization Global Hindu Heritage Foundation (GHHF) a fundraiser campaign for demolishing churches in India.

This was co-signed by the Federation of Indian American Christian Organization in North America (FIACONA), North American Church of God, Southern Methodist University (SMU) Human Rights Program, Amnesty International – Dallas, World Without Genocide, Center for Pluralism, Genocide Watch, The Indian American Muslim Council (IAMC), Limitless Church, Justice for All, Hindu for Human Rights, North Texas Peace Advocates, Good Citizens of DFW, and the North Texas Islamic Council, the letter has been sent to Senators John Cornyn and Ted Cruz; Representatives Michael C Burgess, Pat Fallon, Van Taylor, Terry Meza, Collin Allred, Marc Veasey, Jake Ellzey, Michael Cloud; Governor Gregg Abbott and Frisco Mayor Jeff Cheney.

The contents of the letter are as follows

We, the undersigned civil rights organizations, are writing to express our deep concerns about a fundraiser held by Global Hindu Heritage Foundation (GHHF), a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization in Frisco, Texas on November 27, to raise money for the disturbing goal, among other causes, of demolishing churches in India.

GHHF is a Hindu supremacist group that raises money in the United States to fund its project of forcibly converting Muslims & Christians to Hinduism in India. This group supports an ideology known as Hindutva, or violent Hindu Supremacism, which holds that Hindu Indians are superior to non-Hindus and that minority groups, especially Christians and Muslims, should be reduced to second-class citizens and subjected to violence.

Hindu extremism in India has led to a hazardous environment for religious minorities. The US State Department and other major human rights organizations, including the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, and Freedom House, have noted the demonization and persecution of nearly 28 million Christians.

Today, Christians in India face the threat of being physically attacked — sometimes while in their own homes — and having their churches vandalized, arsoned, or shut down.

These attacks are even more common in Indian states that have passed laws criminalizing religious conversions. Hindu extremists use flimsy claims that Christians are “forcibly converting Hindus” as an excuse to break into churches, vandalize prayer spaces, disrupt congregations, harass worshippers, molest women, detain faith leaders, and socially boycott Christian communities.

In most cases, authorities in the states ruled by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s party arrest the Christian victims instead of the Hindu extremists who orchestrate and participate in violence against them, the government of Prime Minister Modi refuses to condemn these hate crimes, and Hindu supremacists in India and abroad, including GHHF, continue to justify the persecution by claiming that Christians pose a “threat” to Hindus.

In 2014, GHHF wrote a letter to India’s Minister of Education urging her to revise the educational curriculum and teach children about the “heroism” of the man who murdered Mahatma Gandhi, Nathuram Godse.

The letter falsely accused Christians of “stabbing the nation” by converting the Hindus with “deception and allurement.” Upping its genocidal rhetoric, the letter further warns Indian Hindus that they might become “sacrificial lambs” in the hands of Christians.
In 2020, GHHF hosted an event in Plano to support discriminatory anti-minority legislation passed in India, advocating that Muslims and Christians be stripped of their minority status.

Now, GHHF is attempting to raise money to demolish even more churches, calling them “illegal.”
We find it extremely disturbing and dangerous that GHHF would so openly advertise their goal to cause such great harm to Indian Christians, who already face enormous persecution daily.

We urge you to use your platform as elected officials to condemn this blatant and brazen display of anti-Christian hate and bigotry. We also urge you to write letters to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), the US Department of Justice (DoJ), and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) seeking immediate investigative and legal action against the Global Hindu Heritage Foundation for violating its 501c3 status by funding hate and enabling violence against religious minorities in India.

Here are Some of the Voices that Spoke to the City Council

Dozens of them spoke, all powerfully and eloquently stressing many realities and concerns, but here, we will share just a few of the voices of the American Indians and others who spoke to the City Council of Texas

M. Tanveer of the Indian American Muslim community slammed the dangerous GHHF fundraising

 Tanveer said he has been a proud Frisco resident for the last twenty years and it was shocking to learn recently that there is an organization raising funds to demolish churches in India is unfathomable to understand.  This happening in the city of Frisco is completely unbelievable to me. “

Tanveer said he is an American Indian who grew up in India and studied in a Christian school called St. Mary underlining, “I know the impact of church and Christianity in India for the upliftment of the country, whether it’s feeding the poor, taking care of shelters, healthcare, doesn’t matter, it has done wonders to the country and has uplifted.”

Tanveer stated, “As an Indian Muslim, I know what it feels for a worship place to be demolished.  Today marks the 30th Anniversary of the Demolition of the 500-year-old Babri Masjid, illegally demolished. “

Tanveer pointed out that multiple states in India have passed laws criminalizing the freedom to choose religion and have criminalized interfaith marriages.  He pointed out that this is very similar to the  Nuremberg Laws in Germany in the 1940s which led to the genocide of 6 million Jews, and this is where things are heading.

Tanveer appealed to the City Council asking them to stand with the Indian minorities that live in India and 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 in India.

Tanveer said that as leaders of the community, you all have a responsibility to stand against wrong and take action.

He raised three points he wanted the City Council to take note of:

  1. Condemn vehemently this blatant and brazen display of anti-Christian hate and bigotry.
  2. Seek an immediate investigation and legal action on this organization for violating its 501(c)(3) status by funding hate and enabling violence.
  3. Identify mechanisms and actions to ensure any such future events don’t occur or give severe consequences to drive zero hate policy.

Another Indian American said, “We are not against demolishing any illegal structures but what makes me stand to protest against this is why are they only going against illegal churches, there are a lot of other illegal structures and this reveals nothing but propagating hate against Christians in India and making an unsafe atmosphere where authorities could just knock at your door in the night to take you away on flimsy grounds.”

Indian American Hindu Journalist

A Hindu journalist who did not disclose her name said that the American Indian nationist supporters in the US are helping Narendra Modi.  She said that the Indian community was shocked recently when members of the Global Hindu Heritage Foundation sent out an email for a fundraising event in Frisco on November 27th, 2022.  One of the shocking items on the agenda was to demolish 75 churches in Tirupati, a temple town in Andhra Pradesh, India.

The email also claims to have 25 full-time members spread over five states in India to welcome back the converted Christians back into Hinduism.  GHHF is registered in Texas as a charitable nonprofit organization which needs to be investigated and its certification revoked.  Extreme Hindu nationalists in India and in the USA insist that there were forced conversions by Christian missionaries decades ago.

She went on to say, “However, many converted to Christianity to escape the debilitating cruelty of the caste system, many poor also converted to escape the crippling poverty with an opportunity to educate themselves.  But in a Hindu majority country with just 3 percent Christians, the doors were always open to reconvert which most chose not to.  Those Hindu nationalists for decades tried to coerce the poor Christians back into the fold often with force and violence, which has truly become urgent since 2014.

She pointed out that the aggression with which Hindu Nationalism is infiltrating the US entering US politics at all levels in its educational institutions and also Joe Biden’s administration just to ensure that a fascist dictator retains power in India is terrifying.  Several offshoots of the communal fascist RSS in India inspired by the Nazis are now operating on US soil including the international wing, the HSS operating from Houston.

She said, “Attempts by Hindu nationalists to emphasize their own religion through what seems like harmless celebrations of Indian festivals like Diwali, Raksha Bandhan, involving the local police and politicians need to be carefully monitored.  These celebrations earlier confined only to the local community have increasingly become communal, and political, and are also now an excuse to earn legitimacy in the larger community.  Several city councils over America have been warned of this infiltration and steps are being taken to monitor them.

She ended by saying that she as a Hindu was terrified by what was happening in India and had escaped the oppression situation and that was the reason why she is here.

Pieter Friedrich’s  hair-raising narrative of the atrocities committed against Christians and Muslims in India strongly urged the City Council to Stand for The Convictions of Truth, Justice, and Religious Freedom

Pieter Friedrich gave a hair-rising narrative of the atrocities committed against Christians in the past.  He started by saying that on Christmas Day in 1998  in India, the RSS, a paramilitary Hindu organization took to the streets sloganeering about driving out Christians.  Over ten days, they attacked dozens of churches demolishing most of them to the ground.

Less than a month later, in Odhisha, the Australian missionary Graham Staines and his two sons ages 10 and 6 were burned alive while sleeping in the van in the night, by an RSS mob.  Over the years, violence against Christians in Odhisha continued with the RSS storming churches, killing priests, or raping nuns.

On Christmas Eve in 2007, mobs of thousands took to the streets shouting “Kill the Christians, destroy the churches.  Ultimately, several Christians were murdered, 100 churches were demolished and 600 homes were destroyed.  Then in 2008, the RSS organized an outright pogrom for a week where mobs slaughtered approximately 100 Christians (though local sources say 500 Christians were killed, according to the charred bodies found) while demolishing 6000 Christian homes and 400 churches.  Six years later, the RSS gained national power in India when RSS Narendra Modi took over as prime minister.

Modi’s “bloody” past as the chief minister of Gujarat where the RSS massacred thousands of Muslims did nothing but help position him in the eyes of the Hindu nationalist movement as the right man to lead the country and ever since, India has become hell on Earth for Indian Muslims and Christians.

For Christians, India is now ranked as the tenth most dangerous country in the world.  They routinely face hundreds of mob attacks per year with armed mobs of fifty to a hundred people going up to five hundred who invade Sunday services to destroy the sanctuary, beat the congregants, and drag them into the streets.

Pieter went on to say that just last week, here in 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.

Pieter pointed out that today, was the day of the demolition of the Babri Majid in India which led to the slaughter of thousands of Muslims.  He said demolition of Indian churches will similarly cause bloodshed and yet a Frisco outfit is raising money to support such demolitions.  The agenda of the Frisco-based Global Hindu Heritage Foundation will almost certainly contribute to the persecution of Christians in India.

He urged the City Council of Texas to have to courage to proclaim that GHHF’s hateful agenda has no place in Frisco, in Texas, in America or in the world.

Pieter ended by saying, “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 bleeding minority Christians and Muslims in India.

Jenson John Chairman from Church in Texas

Jenson John Chairman from Church in Texas said Indian American says Fisco has good schools, parks, good churches, and good people in general with peace and harmony in their community with good relationships with all regardless of their color, gender, religion and ethnic differences. However, a shock came when the GHHF openly sent out flyers with the purpose to raise money to demolish “illegal” churches in India and reconvert Christians and Muslims to Hinduism.

Jenson John went on to explain that for those who are not aware of how reconversion is done in India, it is done through unethical coercion and the threat of financial harm and physical harm.  Jenson John firmly said that GHHF is using Texan soil (American soil) to collect funds from the Texans to promote hatred and division in India.

GHHF also performs cultural education in schools across Texas.  He urged Texans to challenge these extremist organizations such as Global Hindu Heritage Foundation and stop them or the peace and harmony between religious communities will be affected in India.  On a note of positivity, Mr. John said that “We in Frisco have the power to stop it now if we unite for peace and harmony and do what is necessary to stop legally.”

John also appealed to the City Council that he along with his Christian and Muslim brethren of Indian origin ask them to investigate and put a stop to hateful campaigns and stop the poisonous rhetoric that is being propagated in our community.”

 Sayed Abdul Shares about Global Hindu Heritage Foundation’s Ideology

Sayed Abdul began his appeal by saying since others shared different aspects, he would share about the history of the Global Hindu Heritage Foundation.  He said, there is not a single person who doesn’t know about the horrors of Nazi Germany who believed in the supremacy of one group over another with no qualms on inflicting the most unimaginable horrors on six million Jewish people.  They had the clear intent of genocide.  Most people today condemn Nazism and all forms of fascism but unfortunately, we see people who do the opposite right under our noses here in Frisco Texas.

Abdul went on to say that Global Hindu Heritage Foundation is very open about the fact that they support Hindu Supremacy or Hindutva.  He went on to make it clear that Hinduism is different from Hindutva where Hinduism is a religion and  Hindutva is a Hindu supremacy ideology.

Abdul spoke about the ugly fascist origin of Hindutva where in 1938, an Indian man Vinayak Damodar Savarkar said, “Germany has every right to resort to Nazism and Italy to Fascism and events have justified that those isms and forms of governments were imperative and beneficial under the conditions there.”

Savarkar, one of the founders of the Hindutva ideology that inflicted so much suffering and violence on minorities today, is celebrated by Hindu supremacists across the world.  It is impossible to remove Hindutva from   Savarkar who was a Holocaust apologist who supported the idea that India required genocide against Muslims and Christians. He was also charged as a coconspirator in the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi.

Abdul went on to say that it is now horrifying to see that now under Prime Minister Modi, Savarkar’s vision is coming true and last year, India’s most powerful Hindu monks called for a genocide of 200 hundred million Muslims boasting that they would replicate the Rohingya genocide of Myanmar in India.

He said, “It is simply a fact that Christian genocide would follow close behind.”  The Holocaust Memorial has listed India as number two in the world at risk of mass genocide.  According to international news sources, Hitler’s autobiography  Mein Kampf has become a best seller in India!  This would be enough to tell the world of the mindset of Hindu supremacists and those who support them.

Abdul ended with a note to Hindu supremacists in the USA saying that if they think they can support Hindu supremacist ideology and still support democratic values, this is laughable.  It is not possible to support parts of Nazism and not possible to support parts of Hindutva.  It is an ideology that must be condemned by all people and it starts with our local leadership here in Frisco.

Abdul ended by saying, “I’m a Muslim, and today, I stand with my Christian brothers, we have been through the pain and we cannot let it happen to anyone again.”

 Govinder Singh as a Sikh escaping genocide pointed out the horrors of the ten-fold stages of genocide where India is at the eighth stage

Govinder Singh from Dallas Texas started by quoting what the founders of RSS say who they are.  Golwalkar from the RSS praised Hitler for the extermination of the Jews and keeping the purity of the race by purging Germany from the Semantic race, lauding it “race pride has been manifested.”

Golwalkar said, “ Hindus, don’t waste your energy fighting the British; save your energy to fight our internal enemies which are Muslims, Christians, and Communists.”

He highlighted the Ten Stages of Genocide – By Dr. Gregory H. Stanton and India is on stage eight.  The stages are classification, symbolization, discrimination, dehumanization, organization, polarization, preparation, persecution, extermination, and denial.

Govinder Singh pointed out how Global Hindu Heritage Foundation is calling for the demolition and destruction of the Christian community in India.  He said when you other anyone who is not you, then you are preparing for extermination.

Govinder Singh passionately expressed that as an American Sikh, we came to America because of the massacre of Sikhs on streets all over India simply because of who we are, and now to see that this thought process has followed us here in Frisco is unfathomable.  He ended by saying that Martin Luther King had stated “We will not remember the words of our enemies but the silence of our friends.”, so as our friends, we request you to not be silent.”

Govinder asked the audience, if you stand and support what we are speaking for, let your voices be heard. In that grave moment, all in the audience stood up in support of their voices.

The GHHF Flyer

A flyer for the event – GHHF: Gala Dinner, Annual Fundraiser & Volunteer Appreciation Day – was posted on the American event management and ticketing website Eventbrite. The event page listed the GHHF agenda as follows: Ghar Wapasi, Bala Samskar Kendras – Sunday Schools, Renovation of Grama Devatas, Annadanam in India, Karthika Masa Puja kit Distribution, Demolition of Illegal Churches in Tirupati, Gaushalas, Oxygen Concentrators & Ventilators, Free Meals served to First Responders in Dallas Metropolitan cities (sic).

Prakasarao Velagapudi, the GHHF president who chaired the event, however, added that no money was raised during the event and the topic was only discussed.

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