Faith-based NGOs have been accused of overstepping the ethical line in the tsunami disaster zone by seeking converts as a reward for their work. An announcement by the Indonesian government that the work of humanitarian aid groups in Aceh will be evaluated - and a list drawn up of organisations allowed to stay in the predominantly Muslim region - has raised concern among Christian relief groups that they could be expelled. Their fears appeared confirmed when Indonesian Defence Minister Juwono Sudarsono was quoted by The Washington Times as saying last month the government planned to weed out Christian groups and replace them with Muslim organisations. But Indonesian Welfare Minister Alwi Shihab denied the government would be targeting Christian groups for expulsion. 'There is no such thing as 'you are Christians, so you are not allowed; if you are Muslim, you are more welcome',' Dr Alwi told The Jakarta Post. 'As long as you can demonstrate your skills, your past experience and capabilities, then you are most welcome to stay to be part of [the] reconstruction phase.' Myriad religious aid groups have descended on the tsunami-struck areas. As well as providing physical aid, Church of Scientology workers are applying mind-over-matter healing techniques to injured survivors in Aceh. In addition, evangelists and Quakers are offering counselling, while radical Islamic groups such as the Indonesian Mujahedeen Council are providing spiritual guidance. The mixture has led to rising religious tensions and a flurry of accusations that groups are using the vulnerability of survivors to seek conversions. Concerned the conflict of interest could stir unrest, Jan Egeland - UN undersecretary-general for humanitarian affairs and emergency relief co-ordination - has repeatedly advised Christian NGOs against seeking conversions. The warning sparked an outcry from more well-established Christian aid groups. Duncan MacLaren, the secretary-general of Caritas Internationalis - a Vatican-based body governing the work of Catholic aid agencies worldwide - said he had asked Mr Egeland not to paint legitimate Christian aid agencies with the same brush as fundamentalist groups. 'We have a solid reputation of not seeking to convert people and we have worked with the UN in many countries in the world,' Mr MacLaren said. 'Unfortunately, nowadays a lot of organisations - not only Christian - are coming in with a Bible or a Koran in one hand and humanitarian aid in another. 'They are manipulating the situation in order to convert people. We are totally against this. 'Moreover, it is increasing religious tensions and putting our work in danger and our people's lives at risk.' Mr MacLaren blamed the UN for a lack of co-ordination among aid groups working in the affected areas. 'It's the job of the UN to co-ordinate the work of the NGOs but unfortunately I did not see much evidence of this in Sri Lanka. It's chaotic. 'There are just too many groups working there and the UN cannot force NGOs to work together, so there are many who just do their own thing.' Among the Christian aid groups accused of proselytising is the US-based missionary group WorldHelp, which dropped plans in February to place 300 Muslim tsunami orphans from Aceh in a Christian children's home after an outcry from Muslim groups.