Introduction to 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.

Population and Area of India

India is officially known as the Republic of India. It is the seventh largest country in the world and has the second largest population with over 1.3 billion people. By comparison, the United States is three times larger than India with only a quarter of its population. Imagine reducing the size of the United States by two thirds and tripling its population! The enormous population of India strikes the group at Epaphroditus to the core when we consider engaging the multitudes for Christ.

Photo by Igor Ovsyannykov

Another measure of population common in Evangelical circles is called “people groups”. A people group is an ethno-linguistic group with a common self-identity that is shared by the various members. For strategic purposes it is the largest group within which the Gospel can spread without encountering barriers of understanding or acceptance. In India, there are over 2,500 people groups that see themselves as a unique people from those around them. By comparison, the United States is said to have around 488 people groups. We will speak more about this and the numbers of those that claim to know Jesus in our next post.

Languages of India

With so many people groups in one are of the world, it shouldn’t be a surprise that there a many different languages spoken in India. The primary language for the majority of India is Hindi. However, many of our brothers and sisters at Grace Christian Ministry speak Malayalam. In the past, we’ve had members of our team pick up a “Malayalam for Dummies” type of book in an effort to learn the language without much success. We are thankful for the patience and gifts of translators.

Geography of India

Geographically, India belongs to the continent of Asia and is bordered by the countries of Bangladesh, Bhutan, Burma, China, Nepal, and Pakistan. Because of its location, India experiences periods of heavy rain known as a Monsoon.

The Taj Mahal. Photo by AussieActive

If you have ever visited India or considered doing so, it is quite possible you’ve heard of the capital city New Delhi or one of the other major cities; Kolkata, Chennai and Bangalore. Many visitors to India make a stop by the famous mausoleum, The Taj Mahal, located in the region of Agra.

A Brief History of India

Historically, India became an independent nation in 1947 after ending British rule that began in 1858. A man name Mahatma Gandhi was a famous Indian activist who was the leader of the Indian independence movement against British rule. Once British rule was over, India was split into the Republic of India and the Islamic Republic of Pakistan. Later, an area between India and Pakistan became the People’s Republic of Bangladesh.

That’s it for the introduction. In our next article, we will take a look into the main religions in India. In the meantime, we hope you will consider praying with us for the nation of India, its leaders, and the Church.

Quick Look

Below is short summary of the information outlined in this article on India:

  • Seventh largest country in the world
  • Second largest population in the world with over 1.3 billion people
  • Over 2500 people groups
  • Hindi is the official language out of many different languages
  • Located in the continent of Asia
  • Bordered by the counties of Bangladesh, Bhutan, Burma, China, Nepal, and Pakistan
  • The capital city is New Delhi
  • Experience heavy rains called Monsoons
  • The famous mausoleum and popular tourist attraction, Taj Mahal, is located here.
  • Became an independent nation in 1947 after ending British rule that began in 1858.
  • Mahatma Gandhi is famous for the important part he played in gaining India’s independence.
  • Once British rule was over, India was split into the Republic of India and the Islamic Republic of Pakistan. Later, an area between India and Pakistan became the People’s Republic of Bangladesh.
  • The national symbol of India is the endangered Bengal Tiger.
  • The most popular sport in India is cricket.