Area: 3,166,000 sq km
A further 121,000 sq km of Kashmir, a contested area, is administered by Pakistan and China. Geographically and politically, India dominates South Asia and the Indian Ocean. There are 28 Union States and 7 Union Territories.
Population: 1,214,464,312 Annual Growth: 1.44%
Official language: Constitutionally there are 22 official languages. The official language is Hindi (spoken by 40% of the population). English is a subsidiary official language Languages: 456 All languages
Largest Religion: Hinduism
|Religion||Pop %||Ann Gr|
Bible-believing churches and groups are growing to a degree that far exceeds what is reflected in official figures, but it is hard to reliably enumerate the scale of growth. Current reality on the ground, however, is but a fraction of the goals expressed by the Church and by mobilization movements such as Vision 2020. Some of the many factors related to this growth are:
a) A multiplicity of dynamic, newer Pentecostal and charismatic fellowships. These have sprung up and spread to every area of India.
b) The number of evangelical denominations has increased and congregations multiplied. Several key networks link many denominations Evangelical Fellowship of India (links over 224 denominations and agencies), Pentecostal Fellowship of India (links all major Pentecostal denominations) and Baptist Evangelical Alliance, to name a few. These are used of God to mature, stabilize and mobilize believers through prayer, conventions, pastors retreats, and coordination of training, literature production, missions and outreach.
c) The charismatic movement in the Catholic Church began in 1972 and has spread to nearly every Catholic congregation. It has had a profound impact, brought many to new life and stimulated outreach; an estimated 10% of Catholics in India are charismatic in their faith.
d) The Yesu Darbar, a gathering of Jesus followers in North India numbering in the tens of thousands, models biblical worship and fellowship patterns in an Indian context. There are literally millions of followers of Jesus (Yesu Bhaktas), secret believers and unbaptized Christians outside of established denominational structures. Pray for effective discipling of this growing group.
e) Many networks interceding for the evangelization of the country have flourished, involving millions of Christians. Literally hundreds of new and often massive prayer movements and groups, many driven by women and even children, are behind much Kingdom growth in India.
f) Millions have become more open to the message of Christ through literature, widely broadcast radio and TV programmes and extensively used Christian videos, films and cassettes. Indian-produced Christian media is vital to effectively reach Indians with the gospel.
For an additional 13 Challenges for Prayer see Operation World book, CD-ROM, or DVD-ROM.
The Operation World book, CD-ROM, and DVD-ROM provide far more information and fuel for prayer for the people of India.