08/02/2022 India (International Christian Concern) – Last week, Indian authorities banned a Protestant bishop from traveling abroad over allegations of money laundering. The minister, Bishop Dharmaraj Rasalam, serves the Church of South India and was due to fly to the UK from an international airport in Kerala. However, the police arrested him at the airport and accused him of trying to flee the country. Because of this allegation, the bishop also had to appear before the enforcement authority for investigation. The Enforcement Directorate has also conducted a series of raids on the offices and homes of church officials, including the bishop, implicated in the money laundering allegations.
Specifically, the allegations state that the bishop and others paid large sums of money in exchange for guaranteed admission to the Dr. Somervell Memorial CSI Medical College in Karakonam, which is operated by the Church. Despite these allegations, church leaders monitoring the situation have universally asserted the innocence of Bishop Rasalam and all other church officials. According to reports, state officials admit that many applicants were in fact not admitted to college even after allegedly paying those bribes. One cleric stated emphatically: “These are allegations that are not true.” The director of the local diocese’s Board of Education confidently noted that the forthcoming allegations against church officials are based on false claims.
This isn’t the first time church leaders and the medical school have been undone by the police. Police previously conducted a similar investigation into the college and found no evidence of criminal or unethical activity. Another church leader, in response to the re-examination of the medical school and associated church officials, said: “Self-interest created such stories to tarnish the medical school’s image, and the truth will come out. We’re not worried about them [Enforcement Directorate] or any other probe since we have nothing to hide.” If the accused officials in the Church of South India are innocent, as many argue, we pray there will be time to justify them.
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