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Wednesday, December 6, 2023

TN: Pastor pledges 60L followers’ votes to DMK in exchange for help in building churches

A Pentecostal pastor has promised 60 lakh votes of the denomination in return for Tamil Nadu CM MK Stalin helping them build more churches and complete the ones under construction. Drawing parallels between the CM and the Biblical king Koresh, the pastor assured that the Pentecostal Christians will support DMK in the upcoming local body elections.

After avoiding even wishing Hindus on their festivals, TN CM MK Stalin had attended a Christmas celebratory event organised by the Christian Goodwill Association. It was founded and run by Inigo Irudaya Raj, a DMK MLA. The President of Indian Pentecostal Assemblies ministry, David Prakasam who attended the event requested the CM’s help in building more churches in return for 60 lakh votes of his followers.

Heaping praises on the CM he said “A Bible prophecy said that a king named Koresh will be born and help rebuild the Jewish temple. Making it true a king in that name was born and worked for the welfare of the minorities. He rebuilt their temple in a grand manner.” Drawing parallels between the biblical king and Stalin, the pastor called him the Koresh of the current times. 

He said “You are the protector of minorities. You are a Koresh king brought by the god. God has made you(as CM) as an answer to our prayers, to help Christians and minorities, to safeguard the Christian community’s welfare, to fulfill the longtime dreams and demands of the Christians, to build the churches that couldn’t be built in all these years, to meet the Christian community’s needs”.

He promised votes of his followers in return for help with planting churches saying, “We are glad that you’re here to safeguard the welfare of the Christian community. We are grateful to you for creating a Christian welfare committee. Under the Pentecostal denomination there are 50,000 churches in Tamil Nadu which have 60 lakh followers. On behalf of them I promise you that Pentecostal Christians will stand with you rock-solid in the upcoming municipal, corporation, etc local body elections. We pray for you”.

The Indian Pentecostal Assemblies ministry was found in 1976 by Dr.Job who was “saved from a Hindu family through a miraculous healing from small pox and chronic Asthma”. Now his family runs the ministry, with David Prakasam as the chief and the number of churches have grown from 50 to 50,000 if they are to be believed. Some of their visions for the year 2020 as given in their website,

  • Build 20 churches every year
  • Support 40 new missionaries every year
  • Start mega churches IPA CITY Cathedral in ten big cities of India
  • Establish a church planting training program
  • Start Bible Training Program & Church planting in 5 neighboring nations (Burma, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Malaysia)
  • Facilitate 100 discipleship programs to enhance church growth and church planting

IPA is an FCRA NGO and has received Rs.10.8 crores in between 2015-2021. Prakasam and family runs another FCRA NGO Bethel Fellowship Trust which has garnered approximately Rs.11.8 crore from foreign donors in the same time period. No wonder pastor Prakasam’s hands are itching to plant more churches.

The Christian Goodwill Association is no less, as its head Inigo Irudaya Raj had spoke in an event that from panchayat elections to parliament elections Christians should compete for power. “Our enemy BJP’s representative won in Kanyakumari where Christians constitute 64% of the population. If one of our own had won would we have allowed the Enayam port to come? Would Sterlite be present in Thoothukudi if one of our own had won in the constituency? It is(we lost) because we aren’t politicised”.

Irudaya Raj had founded the Christian Goodwill Association to politicise the community and achieve their political goals in grabbing power. In another event organised by Irudaya Raj, an Anglican bishop said that Hindus are like mosquitoes which are in large numbers but inconsequential. He said they can be swatted like pests. Yet Inigo Irudaya Raj contested and won from temple city Srirangam. CM Stalin who was on the dais hearing the pastor’s speech neither condemned nor objected to his demand. The reason lies in his remark in the past in another Christian event that his government was formed by Christians.

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