Christians in the West have been greatly concerned by the considerable rise in violence against Christians throughout India in the past 10 years. In the first two months of 2016 alone, Hindu nationalists were blamed for 30 serious incidents against Christians. Official 2011 Indian Census figures claim that 79.8% of the 1.3 billion Indians are Hindus, while only 2.3% are Christians. However, one reason for the increase in violence is the fact that the Christian population of India has been growing far faster than the Census figures would indicate. A reasonable estimate – collated through many different sources – seems to indicate a Christian population of between 5 and 6%. Most of this growth has taken place through the efforts of indigenous Indian evangelical groups.
According to Christianity Today, one of India’s largest missionary groups has grown to include 3,000 congregations in India, up from 300 in less than a decade. A hospital-based ministry in north India has seen 8,000 baptisms over the past five years after a decade of only a handful. But the task of reaching India’s vast Hindu believers has barely started (India’s population grew by 300 million in the last 17 years!) Hindus believe their religion is the one eternal religion and the land of India belongs to them. This is why leaving Hinduism is seen as a betrayal, and believers in Christ are considered threats to Hindu society.
Fortunately, new house churches have formed to welcome recent believers into their midst. Former Hindus are now reaching out to more people in Christ’s name, bringing a message of Truth through story-telling and living a life which glorifies the Lord. Despite persecution, it’s becoming more and more common for whole villages to decide to follow Jesus together, often as a result of God’s divine intervention through healing or dreams and visions. Christians are also seeing a new interest among the urban, educated generation. The keys to this growth are the commitment to evangelism on the part of Indian Christians, and intense intercessory prayer. God is at work in India!
Source: Prayercast.com: joyfulheart.com
Bible Study: Luke 9:23-26
DECEMBER PRAISE God for HE IS at work in India.
PRAISE Him that, despite persecution, whole villages are opening up to Christ. PRAY for a divine outpouring on India, that Christ’s light may shine in the darkness.