Gospel for Asia Founder KP Yohannan Back in NRB’s Good Graces After Alleged Fraud and $37 Million Settlement

The Roys Report [Chicago IL]

November 15, 2022

By Sarah Einselen

After paying millions to donors who alleged Gospel for Asia defrauded them, the organization has apparently rejoined the National Religious Broadcasters (NRB). And its founder, K.P. Yohannan, is listed as a panelist for the upcoming NRB Convention in 2023.

Yohannan founded GFA World, formerly Gospel for Asia, in 1979, and served on the NRB board from 2013-2015. But GFA was kicked out of the NRB at the end of 2015 over financial accountability issues related to alleged misuse of hundreds of millions of dollars in donor funds.

A GFA spokesperson told The Christian Post at the time the organization’s NRB membership was terminated because GFA had lost its accreditation with the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability (ECFA).

In 2019, the organization settled a class-action lawsuit over alleged misuse of hundreds of millions of dollars in donations. GFA paid $37 million to refund some donations to U.S. contributors but admitted no wrongdoing in the settlement.

By April 2021, GFA was apparently back in the NRB’s good graces and featured in an article on NRB’s website. Now, Yohannan is one of five panelists for a May 24 session on “What The Church Is Doing Internationally” during the 2023 NRB convention.

It’s unclear when GFA rejoined the NRB or how it satisfied the NRB’s financial accountability requirements. The Roys Report (TRR) reached out to an NRB spokesperson and sought comment from spokespeople for GFA, but did not hear back by the time this article was published.

The NRB states on its website that members generally need to be certified by either the ECFA or the Better Business Bureau (BBB) Wise Giving Alliance. GFA is not listed as an ECFA member, and has not disclosed information to the BBB, either.

In addition to the 2019 U.S. lawsuit, GFA has fended off a similar class-action lawsuit in Canada. That lawsuit alleged GFA misappropriated more than $100 million of donor money, and was thrown out by a Canadian court earlier this year.

“The Canadian lawsuit repeated serious allegations that were first made in litigation in the United States,” GFA stated after the Canadian lawsuit was rejected.

“GFA USA has, from the beginning, maintained its belief that these lawsuits were without merit. The ministry has vigorously defended itself against the accusations.”

GFA’s current gift policy states the organization maintains “ultimate discretion as to their use, including redirection to other Organization needs,” and that donor preferences are “treated as suggestions.”

Yohannan also leads a church in India that’s a separate entity from GFA. The church, Believers Eastern Church, had its estate confiscated by Indian authorities last year. TRR previously reported that the raid took place amid a government investigation into alleged money laundering.

GFA has reportedly called the Indian government’s investigation “Christian persecution” and a “smear campaign” against the church.