Trump's evangelical advisor to hold religious meet in Bengaluru in violation of Visa norms
A prominent evangelist and the spiritual advisor to United States President Donald Trump, Pastor Mark Burns is expected to address a religious gathering for four days in Bengaluru. The event, however, may be in violation of Indian visa norms that stop a foreigner from indulging in any kind of religious promotion or propaganda. A complaint in this regard has been filed with the Foreigners Regional Registration Officer in Bengaluru.
Pastor Mark Burns is scheduled to participate in a series of 'Prophetic Healing Meetings' between August 24 and 27 in Bengaluru. SMPC International Worship Centre, a Christian organisation is hosting the event in Bengaluru's Hennur. While a host of Indian pastors and priests will participate and speak to the crowd over four days, Pastor Mark Burns' participation may be a violation of Visa norms.
OneIndia is in possession of a document from the Ministry of Home affairs that clearly states that no foreigner is allowed to propagate or campaign for a particular religion in the country. Reply to an RTI query from the Ministry of Home affairs, Foreign division dated July 21, 2017, clearly states, "Visa is not granted to preachers and evangelists who desire to come to India on propaganda campaigns, whether or their own or at the invitation of any organisation in India."
In April earlier this year, American evangelist Donna Schambach's event in Bengaluru was cancelled after hue and cry were raised over the evangelist violating Visa norms and attempting to promote a religion. A member of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad had filed a police complaint against the event and cited a Visa norm to allege that the Evangelist had violated the same. "Missionary visa is granted to a foreigner whose sole objective of visiting India is missionary work and not proselytization, meaning to convert or attempt to convert," says the RTI reply from the Ministry of Home Affairs.
It is unclear if the organisers have sought police permission to allow a foreigner to address a religious gathering which will be a violation of India Visa norms. Pastor Mark Burns is a prominent evangelist and is addressing 'Prophetic healing meetings' in Bengaluru, according to the organisers' social media posts.