India’s Church is ancient, dating back (traditionally) to the Apostle Thomas. It is strongest in the south of India and in the northeast. While many of South India’s Christians have a relatively high social standing, most of the rest are from the poorest parts of society, and this affects how Christians are perceived and treated in the nation. India’s Church includes Orthodox, Catholic, Protestant and Independent Christians, plus an unknown number who trust and follow Jesus but remain culturally identified as Hindus.
Christian growth is a reality. Nearly all of it due to the faithful witness of indigenous believers sharing the good news village by village and town by town. India’s 600,000 villages contain nearly 2/3rds of its population.
Churches struggle to keep up with the needs of people open to Christian ministry. Also, the scale of the Christian movement, its informality, and the way that many people stay within traditional religious frameworks after meeting Jesus, means Indian Christianity is very hard to measure or comprehend.
Indian Christianity is better at travelling within cultural networks better than across them. This is a challenge: taking the gospel across cultures means learning new languages, cultures, and ways of working, and demands patience and faith. And India is home to thousands of unreached groups; India’s unreached are a large percentage of the world’s unreached.
Pray for the church to persevere with love, forgiveness, and joy in the midst of intensifying persecution.
Pray for the Church to multiply, village by village, and town by town.
Praise God for the way that Indian missionaries are starting to cross cultures to bring the gospel to unreached groups. India has more national missionaries than any other nation.
Pray for a great turning to Christ also in India’s urban areas. First-generation urbanites are often receptive to evangelical and Pentecostal expressions of the Christian faith. Pray the opportunity offered by India’s urbanization won’t be missed.