CHENNAI, India: Corruption Stalks Church of South India

Virtue Online

Fifteen out of 21 Anglican bishops said to be corrupt according to Central Intelligence Authorities
Nearly two million dollars given for Tsunami victims by The Episcopal Church that were siphoned off reveal tip of financial corruption

Special Report

By David W. Virtue in Chennai
March 27, 2013

Nearly two million dollars given by Episcopal Relief and Development (ERD), the social service arm of The Episcopal Church, for victims of the 2004 Tsunami never got to those for whom it was intended. A Church of South India General Secretary diverted a third of the money to a private clinic run by her medical daughter, a Dr. Beneta.

The money was supposed to have gone to fishermen who lost their boats following giant earthquake driven Tsunami waves that killed 155,000 people and decimated the fishing industry. Money was given to rebuild their homes and to buy new fishing boats destroyed by the 50 foot waves. They received minimal sums of money for boats but nothing for reconstructing their lives and homes.

This is just one of numerous stories of a decades-long history of corruption in the Church of South India that has left Christians cynical that change is possible and good order can ever be restored to the biggest Protestant Church in India. One Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) detective (the equivalent of the FBI) says that the problem remains so widespread in the Church of South India that as many as 15 of the church’s 21 bishops have been tainted by corruption over the years.

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