Posts Tagged ‘India’

  1. 1 Comment

    Follow Me: Believing Requires Proclaiming

    Posted on May 5th, 2014 by Radical

    The below excerpt is from Pastor David’s book, Follow Me: A Call to Die. A Call to Live (88-90).

    Following Jesus necessitates believing Jesus, and believing Jesus leads to proclaiming Jesus. Consequently, a privatized faith in a resurrected Christ is practically inconceivable. Yet privatized Christianity is a curse across our culture and the church today.

    Multitudes of professing Christians say (or at least think), “Jesus has saved me. Jesus’ teachings work for me. But who am I to to tell other people what they should believe? Who am I to tell others that their belief is wrong and my belief is right? Even more, who am I to tell them that if they don’t believe in what I believe, they will spend forever in hell?”

    I completely understand this feeling. I remember standing one day in a sea of people in northern India. If you’ve never been to India, just think people. Lots and lots and lots of people. Approximately 1.2 billion of them, to be precise, over 600 million of whom live in northern India. Crowded streets and urban slums are surrounded by seemingly endless villages that span the countryside. Economic disparity runs rampant as more people live below the poverty line in India than the entire population of the United States put together.

    But India’s poverty is not merely physical; it’s spiritual, as well. The church partners with whom we work in India estimate that approximately 0.5 percent of the people in northern India are Christians. In other words, 99.5 percent of the people in northern India have not believed in Christ for salvation.

    Knowing this, I looked around me one day in that crowded sea of people and thought to myself, Who am I to travel all the way over here to tell these people what they need to believe? Who am I to tell them that all of their gods are false, whether they’re Hindu, Muslim, Buddhist, Sikh, or any other gods, because Jesus is the only true God? And who am I to tell 597 million non-Christians who surround me at this moment that if they do not turn from their sin and trust in Jesus, every one of them will spend eternity in hell?

    It felt extremely arrogant, completely unloving, and uncomfortably brash to claim that 597 million Hindus, Muslims, Buddhists, and Sikhs around me at that moment would go to hell if they didn’t trust in Jesus. And absolutely, such a claim would be arrogant, unloving, and brash–unless it is true.

    If Jesus were just another religious teacher on the landscape of human history, offering his thoughts and opinions regarding how people should live, then it would definitely be arrogant, unloving, and outright foolish for me (or anyone else) to travel around the world telling people they need to either follow Jesus or face hell. But Jesus is indeed more than just another religious teacher, and Jesus is indeed the resurrected God, Savior, and King who alone has paid the price for sinners and paved the way for everlasting salvation, so telling people everywhere about Jesus is the only thing that makes sense. It is the height of arrogance to sit silent while 597 million Hindus, Muslims, Buddhists, and Sikhs go to hell. It is the epitome of hate to not sacrifice your very life to spread this Good News among every person you know and every people group on the planet.

  2. “They Need to be Executed”

    Posted on October 10th, 2013 by Jonathan

    Afghan Men

    An Afghan public official recently said, “Numerous Afghans have become Christians in India. This is an offense to Islamic laws, and according to the Quran, they need to be executed.” According to news sources, this is just the latest of numerous such statements, all calling for extreme measures in resisting and suppressing the spread of Christianity among Afghans.

    This most recent statement, made by Nazir Ahmad Hanafi, specifically referred to Christian conversions in India, a country that has become a sort of haven for 200-250 Afghan Christians living in Delhi. Afghan Christians who fled to Delhi were originally welcomed and assisted by the Delhi Bible Fellowship, but due to the safety concerns that came with their presence, the Afghan believers have since established their own separate church – the Afghan Church of New Delhi.

    To make matters worse, India is not obligated to grant asylum to our Afghan brothers and sisters. This often makes simple tasks like buying a SIM card or renting a room precarious. This predicament probably weighs heavily on Afghan believers, because, as evidenced by Hanafi’s statement, the Afghan government isn’t oblivious to what’s happening in New Delhi. Many members of parliament are outraged that Afghan Christians in India are sharing the gospel with other Afghan visitors or residents. To them, any threat of conversion is a threat to Afghan culture. As a result, the Afghan National Security Committee is investigating the situation further.

    All this simply goes to show that the Afghan government is staunchly committed to Islamic law and actively opposed to Christian conversion. This obviously has huge implications for Christians in Afghanistan as well as abroad; our prayers ought to reflect these implications.

    Pray

    1. … for Afghan Christians to be both bold and wise as they live out their faith in an extremely hostile environment.
    2. … for Afghans abroad to come to know the Lord and grow strong in their faith, unashamed of the gospel and intentional in their declaration of it.
    3. … for the church abroad to to support the Afghan church wherever it may be – Afghanistan, India, the US, or anywhere in between.
    4. … for missionaries in Afghanistan to act wisely as they faithfully share the Word and encourage Afghan believers.
    5. … for Christ to be exalted by Afghan Christians in Afghanistan and in all nations.

    Information for this post was gathered from Voice of the Martyrs and The New York Times.

    Photo credit

    This post originally appeared on the Secret Church blog. Be sure to check it out for updates and information on Secret Church gatherings and the persecuted church.

  3. Unreached

    Posted on July 24th, 2013 by Jonathan

     We encourage you to specifically and intentionally pray for Muslims during Ramadan. Below is a people group that is almost completely Muslim. Lift them up to the Lord that they might know and worship him.

    Shaikh of India

    Shaikh of India, ManPopulation:  76,868,000

    Religion:  Islam (100%)

    What are their beliefs?

    The Shaikhs are not bound by one particular profession. The Shaikh can be broadly grouped into five communities. Three of these communities are the Siddiks, Farukis and Abbasi who are often descendents of Arab immigrants. The other two are the Chistis and Kuraishis communities who tend to be mainly from converts to Islam. Consequently, the Shaikhs profess Islam and have both Sunni and Shia traditions among them. In Nepal they speak Nepali and either Urdu, Bhojpuri or Maithili in their communities. They are not vegetarian and their common food is rice, mutton and vegetables. Common surnames are Mondal, Siddiqui, Usmani, Faroqui and Sheikh.

    What are their needs?

    Shaikh of India, MapThere has been much ministry activity among the Shaikh in India but few works in Nepal. Pray that this largest group of Nepali Muslims will find the truth of Jesus and that the advancement of the gospel among the Shaikh in India continues. There is a lot of potential for gospel growth within the Shaikh community because of relatively few social divisions.

    Prayer Points

    • Pray that groups of Christians will regularly pray for the Shaikh.
    • Pray that the Holy Spirit will guide Christians to best witness the gospel to the Shaikh.
    • Pray that preachers will be sent to preach the gospel to the Shaikh.
    • Pray that God will establish strong local churches among the Shaikh as they repent and believe in Christ.

    Learn more about this people group by visiting:

    Joshua ProjectPeople Groups, or Operation World

  4. Unreached

    Posted on June 26th, 2013 by Jonathan

    Rajput, Thuana of India

    Rajput, Thuana of IndiaPopulation:  69,000

    Religion:  Hinduism

    Who are the Rajput, Thuana of India?

    The Rajput, Thuana of India have a population of 68,961. They are part of the Punjabi people cluster. This people group is found only in India. Their primary language is Hindi – (hin). The primary religion practiced by the Rajput, Thuana is Hinduism, the predominant religious tradition of the Indian subcontinent. There are many forms of Hinduism, each with its own deities and beliefs. Their GSEC status is 1, which means this people group is less than 2% evangelical, some evangelical resources are available, but there has been no active church planting among them within the past two years.

    India_mapPrayer Points

    • Ask the Lord to call people who are willing to go to India and share Christ with the Rajput, Thuana of India.
    • Pray for the effectiveness of the Jesus film among these people.
    • Ask God to use the few believers in the Rajput, Thuana of India people group to share Christ with their own people.
    • Ask the Lord to raise up prayer teams who will begin breaking up the soil through intercession.
    • Pray that God will open the hearts of India’s governmental and religious leaders to the Gospel.
    • Ask the Lord to reveal Himself to these precious people through dreams and visions.

    For more information, check out Joshua Project.

  5. Unreached

    Posted on June 12th, 2013 by Jonathan

    Mali of India

    Mali of IndiaPopulation:  8,950,000

    Religion:  Hinduism (99.99%)

    What are their beliefs?

    The Mali are mainly Hindus. Devi is their principal deity and marriages are performed in front of this deity. Devi is a local incarnation of ‘Maha Kali’, the warrior goddess and consort of Shiva. Animals are sacrificed to please her.

    Mali map of IndiaWhat are their needs?

    The Mali need to know Jesus as their savior. Devi is believed to require appeasement through offerings and the goddess incites fear among her followers. On the other hand, Jesus is merciful, forgiving and loving.

    Prayer Points

    • Pray that groups of Christians will regularly pray for the Mali.
    • Pray that the Holy Spirit will guide Christians to best witness the gospel to the Mali.
    • Pray that preachers will be sent to preach the gospel to the Mali.
    • Pray that the Lord plants many strong, multiplying churches among the Mali.

    For more information, check out Joshua Project.

  6. Unreached

    Posted on June 5th, 2013 by Jonathan

    Gujjar of India

    Gujjar_IndiaPopulation:  771,000

    Religion:  Islam (96.48%)

    What are their beliefs?

    Gujjars are mostly Hindus in India, though in Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh they are mostly Sunni Muslims. Muslim Gujjars are also present in Uttaranchal Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh in small numbers while in East Punjab they are Sikhs too. The nomadic Gujjars are almost all Sunni Muslims. Gujjars believe in their customary laws regarding their social life amongst themselves.

    Gujjar_India_mapWhat are their needs?

    They need education and to shun their out dated rituals such as child marriages etc. They need to be uplifted from their backwardness by incorporating policies such as of reservation for them in jobs and by teaching them the latest techniques in animal husbandry and agriculture. Efforts should be made to inspire them to leave their pastoral nomadic life by lending them material support they require.

    Prayer Points

    • Ask the Lord to call people who are willing to go to India and share Christ with the Gujjar.
    • Ask God to use the few Gujjar believers to share Christ with their own people.
    • Ask the Lord to raise up prayer teams who will begin breaking up the soil through intercession.
    • Pray that God will open the hearts of India’s governmental and religious leaders to the Gospel.

    For more information, check out Joshua Project.

  7. Unreached

    Posted on May 29th, 2013 by Jonathan

    Mapilla of India

    MapillaPopulation:  8,945,000

    Religion:  Islam (100%)

    What are their beliefs?

    The Laccadive Mappilla belong to the Shafite School of the Sunni branch of Islam. Their religion has the typical characteristics of Islamic beliefs and practices, in addition to certain local features that have developed according to their particular way of life. Every child has to read the Koran completely in Arabic at least once, but the meaning is not explained to them. Priesthood is inherited through the females.

    Mapilla mapWhat are their needs?

    The Bible, the Jesus film, and some Christian broadcasts are available in the Malayalam language; however, very few of the islanders have responded to the Gospel. Prayer is the key to reaching them for Christ.

    Prayer Points

    • Ask the Lord to call people who are willing to go to India and share Christ with the Laccadive Mappilla.
    • Pray for the effectiveness of the Jesus film among these people.
    • Ask God to use the few Laccadive Mappilla believers to share Christ with their own people.
    • Ask the Lord to raise up prayer teams who will begin breaking up the soil through intercession.
    • Pray that God will open the hearts of India’s governmental and religious leaders to the Gospel.
    • Ask the Lord to reveal Himself to these precious people through dreams and visions.

    For more information, check out Joshua Project.

  8. Unreached

    Posted on May 8th, 2013 by Jonathan

    Kunbi of India

    Kunbi of IndiaPopulation:  16,030,000

    Language:  Gujarati

    Religion:  Hinduism (99.86%)

    %Christian:  0.04%

    Persecution Rank:  31

    About:  The Kunbi (alternate names of Reddi and Desai) are a prominent community of Karnataka. They can also be found in Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Pondicherry, Karnataka, Kerala, Orissa and Maharashtra. However, traditionally the Reddy belong to the fourth of the Hindu Varnas, Sudra. One section of the Reddy is called Kapu which means guardian.

    Kunbi of India map

    The majority of the Kunbi communities are non-vegetarian, and all the communities take rice as their staple cereal. Jowar, wheat, bajra, and ragi are the other cereals for them.

    The Kunbi community have social divisions such as clans, lineage, subcastes and sects. These social divisions regulate marital alliances.

    The traditional occupation of most of the Reddy groups is settled cultivation, followed by animal husbandry and labour. Both men and women smoke a homemade cheroot (chutta) which results a high incidence of mouth and throat cancer.

    They are Hindu by faith and worship many deities. Their main festivals are Ugadi, Akshade, and Dussehra. They play bhajans and kirtans.

    They speak the Kannada and Telugu languages. Alternate names: Kapu, Akutota, Desai, Dommari, Guruda, Illela, Kuruva, Musugu, Nadi Taram, Panta, Sajjana, Renati, etc.

    Prayer Points

    • Pray for the ultimate salvation of the Kunbi people.
    • Pray that God would send Christian laborers to work among them and meet their spiritual and physical needs.
    • Pray for the small number of Kunbi Christians to reach out to their own people.
    • Pray that God would raise up strong local churches among the Kunbi.

    Praise the Lord, all nations! Extol him, all peoples! – Psalm 117:1

    Information for this post was gathered from Joshua Project.  For more information, check out Operation World.

  9. Unreached

    Posted on April 29th, 2013 by Jonathan

    Kumhar of India

    KumharPopulation:  14,487,000

    Language:  Hindi

    Religion:  Hinduism (99.98%)

    %Christian:  0.00%

    Persecution Rank:  31

    About:  Per old Indian mythology, the Kumhar are offspring of Lord Braham (Prajapati). This is why in some places in India, the Kumhar use Pajapati/Prajapat as a surname according to Indian caste system. However, the Kumhar can also be found throughout India under the surnames Verma, Kumhar, and Kumawat. Ancient Indian culture cannot be deciphered without acknowledging the Kumhar.

    Kumhar Map

    The Kumhar’s livelihood is making earthen pots. They claim to be the first inventors of the wheel/cycle, which they use not only to make pots, but other earthen utensils as well. Historically, their main way of earning income has been through these earthen products and agriculture. They are very honest people and make their livelihood by hard work.

    The Kumhar are generally Hindu and pray to the Lord Shiva, Godess Mother (Mata). They believe in god and are highly spritual, loveable, honest, and hard working.

    Prayer Points

    • Pray that the gospel will be preached among the Kumhar.
    • Ask God to open the hearts of Kumhar nonbelievers and convict them of their need for the Savior.
    • Pray that Christian missionaries will find favor with the Indian government and the Kumhar people.
    • Ask the Lord to grow the number of Kumhar believers, strengthen them, and encourage them so that their faith endures and their witness is bold and clear.
    • Pray that God will give these believers opportunities to share the love of Jesus with their own people.
    • Ask God to raise up strong local churches among the Kumhar of India.

    Praise the Lord, all nations! Extol him, all peoples! – Psalm 117:1

    Information for this post was gathered from Joshua Project.  For more information, check out Operation World.

  10. Unreached

    Posted on April 8th, 2013 by Jonathan

    Koli of India

    Koli WomanPopulation:  12,389,000

    Language:  Gujarati

    Religion:  Hinduism (99.74%)

    %Christian/%Evangelical:  0.25%/unknown

    Persecution Rank:  31

    About:  The term Koli means fisherman. According to legend, the Koli claim to be descendents from the Black Dwarf that came forth from the body of King Vena. Numbering more than 12 million they are one of the largest communities of western India. The Koli constitute of a number of communities with various occupations and cultural identities, yet they remain Koli.

    Koli Map

    As their name implies, fishing is common, but other work can be found in agriculture, water-carrying, boating, and animal husbandry. A large percentage of the Koli population in Gujarat have advanced education, and, subsequently, higher societal status; some work in the government. However, it remains that the majority live within the lower strata of society.

    The Koli live mostly in the villages and towns of Gujarat and Uttar Pradesh. While they live the simple life of agriculturalists, they have become aware of the life available to them in urban areas as technology has spread to most people. Many have firsthand knowledge of the material gains that city life offers.

    Beliefs/Religion

    Nearly all of Koli are Hindu, though a very few will practice Islam. Both nuclear and extended families are common among them, and the eldest son inherits the father’s authority. The Koli cremate their dead and practice death pollution for eleven days. The Koli worship Guar Mati and Holi Mata among other deities of Hinduism. They also believe in ghosts and spirits. Depending on the region, they will celebrate the Namiya festival (associated with fishing) as well as Karbha, Bahan, and other common festivals. A Brahmin priest will officiate rituals associated with the cycles of life as well as oversee other religious activities.

    Prayer Points

    • Ask God to send Christians into every district and village of the Koli.
    • Pray that the God, who set eternity in the hearts of the Koli and all of mankind, will prepare them to respond to the gospel of Jesus with faith and repentance.
    • Pray that strong churches will be established and mobilized among the Koli.
    • Pray that God will raise up Koli evangelists that will have a heart to reach their own.
    • Ask God to glorify His Son among and through the Koli.

    “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes…” Romans 1:16

    Information for this post was gathered from Joshua Project.  For more information, check out Operation World.