08/02/2022 India (International Christian Concern) – Last week, Indian authorities banned a Protestant bishop from traveling abroad on charges of money laundering. The cleric, Bishop Dharmaraj Rasalam, serves the Church of South India and was scheduled for a flight to the UK from an international airport in Kerala. However, at the airport, the police stopped him and charged him with trying to leave the country. Because of this accusation, the bishop was also asked to appear before the Enforcement Directorate for investigation. The Enforcement Directorate has also undertaken a series of raids on the offices and residences of church officials, including the bishop, who are implicated in money laundering allegations.
The charges specifically allege that Bishop and others accepted large sums of money in exchange for guaranteed admission to Dr. Somervell Memorial CSI, Karakonam, which is run by the church. Despite these allegations, church leaders observing the situation have universally maintained the innocence of Bishop Rasalam and all other church officials. State officials reportedly admit that many applicants are not actually admitted to college even after allegedly paying these bribes. One clergyman pointedly said, “These are allegations and there is no truth in them.” The director of the local diocese’s board of education confidently asserted that future charges against church officials are rooted in false accusations.
This is not the first time that church leaders and the medical college are under police surveillance. Earlier, police conducted a similar investigation at the college and found no evidence of criminal or unethical activity. Another church leader, in response to the re-investigation of the medical college and relevant church officials, said:Vested interests created such stories to tarnish the image of the medical college and the truth will come out. We are not worried about [Enforcement Directorate] or any other investigation as we have nothing to hide. If the accused officials in the Church of South India are innocent, as many argue, we pray that time will serve to vindicate them.
For interviews, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.