Babu Samuel founded our partner organization in India, Grace Christian Ministries (GCM) in 1999. Babu and his wife, Merci, live in Kerala, India and have two daughters, Grace (recently married to Printu), Gladys and one son, Samuel.
Today we are wrapping up our first installment of the Get to Know (G2K) campaign. Over the last four months we have been focusing on “G2K India”:
- Introduction to India
- Main Religions in India
- Hinduism: India’s Largest Religion
- Christianity in India
- Government in India
- Persecution in India
India is listed as the the 11th most dangerous country to follow Jesus on the 2018 World Watch List by the non profit organization Open Doors. India rose from number 15 on the 2017 World Watch list to 11th this year. The reason for the rising on the list has much to do with the increased persecution. While this persecution may vary in different regions, it is still widespread over much of India.
First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. (1 Timothy 2:1-2)
As we continue our Get to Know (G2K) India series, this week we will be touching on the make up of the government in India. Before moving much forward, I must confess, that History and Government classes were not those that kept my attention, therefore, I will not pretend to know what I’m talking about when discussing the inner workings of the Indian government and its branches, but I will discuss what we’ve gleaned from our experiences in India in the past as well as recent headlines.
We are continuing our Get to Know India campaign and are focusing today on Christianity in India. As we have stated in previous posts, Christianity is the third largest religion in India with approximately 26 million adherents. This number seems large until you compare it to the national population of 1.3 billion. This equates to only two percent of the population identifying as Christians.
The 26 million Christians in India are located in Christian pockets. Some city blocks, towns, and even some States within India are considered Christian. Generally speaking, many of those Christian pockets are located in Southern India, while the Northern States tend to be more anti-Christian and adversarial.
Hinduism is the predominate religion in India and recognizes many gods (estimated 33 million). The origin of the Hinduism is unknown but believed to have come from the Indus Valley near modern day Pakistan. Hinduism is thought of as a “way of life”, embracing many religious ideas with no known founder. Here is an overview of some key aspects of the Hindu faith.
As Jared mentioned in the previous post’s overview of India, the population of India is 1.3 billion, making it the second largest population in the world. With so many people you would anticipate a diversity of cultures. It is estimated that within India there are 2,550 People Groups.
It is claimed that the Indian subcontinent is the birthplace of four of the world’s major religions; namely Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism. Freedom of religion in India is a fundamental right guaranteed by Article 25-28 of the Constitution of India.
This is the first post in our “Get to Know” (G2K) series on India! Our goal for this series is to gain a better understanding on the makeup of India as a nation geographically, politically, and spiritually. Learning more about India, its people and their way of life will hopefully shed some light on how we can intentionally pray for this nation, its leaders, and the church. So, let’s not wait any longer and get started with the introductions.