Salvation army : a queer Chrisitian NGO

The salvation army is a global force with its tentacles well spread in India. They claim that "The Salvation Army currently has more than 17,000 ministers of religion (officers) at work worldwide."

Data Maps    17-Feb-2022   
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salvation army 
A global giant
Just to get an idea of it's global financial strength, let us look at it's USA wing. According to Forbes magazines 2021 list of America's top 100 charities, it is on number three and earned 2371 million $ [17634 Crore Rs.] in donations in one year. It's total revenue of 2021 stands at 4158 million $ [ 30924 Rs.] The international salvation army trust owns the reliance bank in UK as a subsidiary to manage its finances!
In India, they have divided the country in six territories.
There is a national secretariat to co-ordinate between the six territories and the 'conference of leaders' guides the secretariat. Each terrritory has its 'officers, cadets, corps, employees, outposts, soldiers' and a network of institutions including schools and colleges.
They run 1600 societies and about 150 schools and colleges, . Gospel teaching is done in about 20 languages. They publish about 25 magazines in 8 languages. The latest balance sheet available on their website is of 2018-2019. It shows the annual budget of Rs. 250 Crore.
In 2021 they had five separate registrations under FCRA, 2 in Tamilnadu and one each in Delhi, Maharashtra and Kerala. Together they received Rs. 58 Crore foreign funds in the year. Surprisingly you will find very less information on their website about their social work. In one line they mention "Individual and family counselling and education enable younger generations to move with confidence in future."
Is it because all this 'social work' is only the means to an end? Is it because the ultimate aim is religious conversion?. To become a Salvationist Soldier one has to give covenant [promise/ commitment] to "sharing the good news of Jesus Christ, endeavouring to win others to Him".
The history of religous conversions
salvation army arrived in India in 1882. It was the decade when Birtish Government decided to declare certain communities as 'criminal tribes', forcing them to live in a compounded area and Adult males of the groups were forced to report weekly to local police. For salvation army it was an opportunity for their 'salvation'. In all 27 such settelments with 10060 people were handed over to the salvation army for management. and how did they utilized the opportunity?

The booklet published in 1940s decade 'Capturing crims for Christ' describes the conversion to Christianity in graphic details.
Capturing Crims for Christ 
Hallo, Roshan, from where have you run away now? 
haven't run away from anywhere; I have just come to see my people.
But you must have run away, or you would have a police escort with you.
No, I don't need an escort now. I belong to The Salvation Army, and with the Salvation Army Manager's pass I am allowed to travel alone.
That was a statement Roshan's fellow-tribesman could scarcely believe, yet it was perfectly true. Roshan was a Dom (pronounced like the English word ' dome '; the feminine is Domin), a member of a criminal tribe, and for long years it had been the rule that no Dom should be allowed to travel, either afoot or by train, unless he was accompanied by an escort furnished by the police carrying a document signed by the Police Superintendent giving permission for the Dom to travel.
Recently, however, the Doms of the Gorakhpore District had been placed under the care of The Salvation Army, and one of the privileges they had gained by this was that if the Salvation Army Manager considered that a man was fit to be trusted to travel without escort he could give the man 'a pass to that effect and the police had not any authority over him while he was on his journey. Roshan was one of the earliest to merit and to take advantage of this privilege.....
............Roshan's leave was for about a week, and punctually to time he arrived back at the Settlement at Gorakhpore. I see him now striding across the compound, his face wreathed in glad smiles, his pass in his hand. I greeted him with,' Well Roshan, you are back.' Yes,' he said and all safe and well.' How did you get on? ' I asked. Splendidly,' he said telling me of the conversation related above. "I told the people that in The Salvation Army we have a Meeting each night; we gather for Roll Call, sing and pray and listen to the Bible being read; so I called them together and did the same there as we do here. One night I told them the story of the Prodigal Son, another night the story of the healing of the man with the withered hand, and so on." Did you take your Bible with you? ' I asked him. No he answered, I know all these stories in my heart.' And so the one-time hardened criminal had become a herald of the Good News.
The technique is simple. If the salvation army manager gives certificate, the person is free to go. The manager will give certificate only when the person will convert.
Using such support of British empire, salvation army grew rapidly. After just 10 years in July 1893 in a speech in Australia 'major' musa bhai of salvation army boasted that salvation army in India has now 10000 members and further 14000 people had been 'won to Christianity'.
Mukti fauj or 40 years with the salvation army in India and ceylon a book by F. Booth Tucker who was a key person of salvaion army, documents various instances of conversions of Hindus to Christianity.

2000 conversion in 18 months! 
We can see that in British empire, salvation army was openly engaged in convesions and used ot boast about it openly.
After 1947
The important change in independent India is that they have tried to camouflage their religious conversion activity. Their website has no mention of Gospel preaching in various languages. Their magazine 'war cry' and their yearbooks are all behind paywalls. And yet there are enough documents in public space to indicate that conversions are going on. The only year book available in public space, salvation army year book 2009 mentions conversions at various places.
"Seventy soldiers were enrolled on the day the territorial commander opened a new corps at Chodavaram. In Kothapalem village, six converts from another faith were among 57 soldiers enrolled at the corps opening." page 128
" Officers serving in the Himalayaan foothills held a soldier's rally to nurture Salvationists in their faith and prepare them for further service. The majority of the 156 soldiers at the event were newly converted Christians." page 132
The issue of 'war cry' of 2016 carries a feature by sornam paul in which she says
"I was born and brought up in a non Christian family and worshipping numerous Gods was predominant. Praise God I was choosen as a first generation Christian." page 10
These are the sophisticated conversions. large number is brazenly targeted through claims of 'faith healing' like their Jalandar unit boasts on their website.

'faith healing 
And yet this ' Army' with 250 Crore budget gets forign funds worth 58 crore in just one year. If it comes under MHA scanner, the 'army' will immediately put out a 'war cry' that Christians in India are being 'persecuted'.


Fravia is the pen name of the author who wishes to remain anonymous. The name is chosen in the memory of Fravia, one of the great exponents of free information. One of the reasons is that the author learned the skills of deep web search from fravia’s unforgettable website. Another and equally important reason is that the author shares the rare combination of passions of Fravia, namely a keen interest in digital technology as well as history.