BASIC FACTS ABOUT INDIA
Population - More than 1.210.000.000 inhabitants and 1652 languages
Religion - Hindu 83%, Muslim 12%, Christian 3%, Other 2%
A land of more than a billion people, India is the largest democracy in the world. With over a billion people, India is second only to China in population. It is estimated that by 2015 India will become the largest nation in the world.
A land of 333 million gods
Anyone who is familiar with India knows that India has always been a challenge to the Gospel. Hinduism that teaches, "just as all rivers lead to the ocean, all religions lead to God", dominates the thinking of the masses. In Hinduism there are more than 333 million gods and goddesses. Many Hindus revere Jesus as another god. Yet their eyes are blinded to the uniqueness of Christ. His words: "I am the Way and the Truth and the Life; no one comes to the Father except through me," does not make sense to them.
A land of 1,652 languages
India is virtually a "Babel" when it comes to languages. There are 1,652 languages in use in this land. Of these 222 are considered "major" languages spoken by a minimum of 100,000 people. Yet the Holy Bible is not yet translated into many of these languages.
Thousands of different 'people groups'
India is made up of thousands of different people groups or ethnic groups. (The Indian word is "jathi"). Jesus commanded us to make disciples from every "people group" or "nation". See Matthew 24:14; 28:19 and 20; Revelation 5:9 and 10; 6:9 and 10. Yet thousands of the ethnic groups in India have no believers among them. Most of the unreached people groups of the world live in India.
See the article: "How many unreached people groups are there?"
Christians: A tiny minority in two pockets
The Christian population in India, according to the government figures is only 2.3% of the population. Even if we follow the optimistic figures given by Christian leaders, it is only 4%. Of these 80% are found in the southern three states and in a few of the small states in northeast.
Doors for foreign missionaries closed
The government of India decided to close its doors for foreign missionaries back in 1975. Since then the government has given very few new missionary visas. Moreover, they have been systematically expelling missionaries from India. Today there are very few foreign missionaries left in India. The few that are present cannot actively take part in evangelism.
How can we reach such a complex nation with the Gospel?
Partnership and cooperation are essential
No one person or organization can fulfill the Great Commission alone in India. All concerned Christians must partner together to obey our Lord Jesus Christ.