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India Court to Rule on Future of Mission Groups in State

BosNewsLife (07/25/06) – One of India’s main mission organizations and its American supporter were expected to learn from a High Court Tuesday, July 25, whether they will be allowed to officially resume operations and use their bank accounts in the volatile state of Rajasthan.

Tuesday’s ruling by the Rajasthan High Court in the capital Jaipur was expected to impact the future of Emmanuel Mission International and its American supporter Hopegivers International (HI) who lost their licenses after hard-line Hindu authorities and militants groups accused them of anti-Hindu activities.

EMI and HI are involved in several humanitarian activities and a native church movement that supports 10,000 orphans, including many ‘Dalits’, also known as the “untouchables,” as they are considered “the lowest caste” in India ’s ancient system of Hinduism.

Officials close to the case seemed optimistic that the High Court would rule in their favor after the Supreme Court of India granted EMI founder, Archbishop M.A. Thomas bail over the weekend. A court ruling was also expected on a bail for his son, Rev. Samuel Thomas, and for India to lift their travel restrictions.


Samuel Thomas was initially released in May after 47 days in prison on charges related to alleged anti-Hindu activities and “forced conversions” along with other workers, while his father had received an arrest warrant on similar accusations, including the publication of a perceived anti-Hindu book. The leaders have denied the charges.

The book ‘Haqikat’ or ‘a bunch of truths’, was written by a Kerala attorney, M.J. Matthew, who has been hiding in South India after death threats, BosNewsLife learned from a source speaking on condition of anonymity.

The legal difficulties in Rajasthan comes at a time when the organizations have been busy supporting victims of the July 11 terror attacks in Mumbai, also known as Bombay, in which hundreds died.


The HI-backed Bombay Street Child Rescue Outreach targets several hundred thousand children who live in the train stations and along the tracks where the bombs exploded.

Among the survivors was P.C. Varghese, a member of Hopegivers’ Mumbai School Managing Committee, was on one of the trains July 11. In a statement obtained by BosNewsLife he recalled chatting with his seatmate when the concussion of the bomb swept over him and everything went dark.

When he opened his eyes, he was deaf and surrounded by broken bodies. He was the only one in his compartment who survived the blast. “Even death didn’t want me,” he reportedly joked afterwards from his hospital bed.


Varghese expects to survive, “but tough months of rehabilitation and surgery lie ahead,” HI said. With a young wife and two daughters to care for, Hopegivers has adopted the family as one they will care for until he returns to work.

At least $5,000 will be needed to complete his treatment plan, a huge amount in a region where monthly salaries are on average $30. 207 people are known to have died in the blasts and 700 were injured. India police detained several suspects, but their role in the blasts have remained unclear.