Jul 01: India, Sikkim, Tamil Nadu

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Republic of India


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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%

Capital: Delhi

Urbanites: 30.1%

HDI Rank: 134 of 182 (UN Human Development Reports 2009)


Peoples: 2,533 (88% unreached) All peoples
Unreached Peoples Prayer Card

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


Challenge for Prayer

Training Christian workers is an important need that is immediately urgent and essential in the long term. The life and health of the Church depend on the proper development of pastors, teachers, evangelists and missionaries. In churches, poor discipling and lack of teaching and modelling of biblical life and leadership are problems. India’s strong philosophical tradition and religious, cultural and ethnic diversity make adequate training crucial, but most workers are sent out with very little specific preparation for their ministry context. There are over 100,000 full-time workers in India; about half are pastoring local churches. There is, on average, one trained pastor for every six congregations. Pray for:

a) Degree-level seminaries, which now number over 100; praise God for the multiplication of these! There are three accrediting agencies – Senate of Serampore College, Asia Theological Association and Indian Institute of Missiology. Many of these seminaries are theologically evangelical. The number of seminary graduates opting for missionary service, however, is decreasing. Pray for an increasing stream of well-trained, spiritually passionate workers with a burden for effective ministry in their nation.

b) Bible schools number over 1,000 and are doubling in number every 10 years. Evangelical institutions are full. Bible schools are moving from merely teaching theology to giving practical skills for ministry, particularly for church planting.

c) Training centres for indigenous workers play a significant role. Set up largely for church planters, these number over 100 (FMPB, IEM, OM, ICRM, GEMS, Missions India, Seva Bharat, Operation Agape, others). GFA has set up 55 such centres, with 7,000 currently receiving training.

d) New, creative ways for multiplying leaders must be developed. The need is greater than what residential institutions can produce, and 90% of pastors lack access to adequate theological training. Also, residential institutions must move beyond a Western maintenance model that has minimal impact on the non-Christian majority. Thankfully, there is a growing stream of non-formal education that is looking at how to address this challenge.

e) Training Christians – those outside of the traditional roles of pastor, evangelist and missionary – to be effective witnesses and ministers is essential. The Indian Church must learn to have a greater impact in the workplace, especially in the newer areas of IT, business and such.

f) The house/cell church movement is rapidly spreading in many parts of the country, with estimates of up to 100,000 such gatherings. These movements are proving culturally appropriate, affordable, biblically authentic and very effective.

g) The South Asia Bible Commentary will be a boon to potentially hundreds of thousands of pastors, lay leaders and students.

     For an additional 14 Challenges for Prayer see Operation World book, CD-ROM, or DVD-ROM.

More Information

The Operation World book, CD-ROM, and DVD-ROM provide far more information and fuel for prayer for the people of India.



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Challenge for Prayer

The Church in Sikkim consists mostly of Lepcha people, first reached in the 19th Century. It is growing rapidly, from 7,000 people in 1981 to 53,000 in 2002, and significantly more in 2010. Evangelical Presbyterians are the main denomination, but the Church of North India, Pentecostals, Baptists and Independent groups also minister. Praise God for dozens of new congregations established annually in what was traditionally a Buddhist stronghold – and for the inclusion of former Buddhist monks and religious leaders among the numbers of those saved.

     For an additional 3 Challenges for Prayer see Operation World book, CD-ROM, or DVD-ROM.

More Information

The Operation World book, CD-ROM, and DVD-ROM provide far more information and fuel for prayer for the people of Sikkim.

Tamil Nadu


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Challenge for Prayer

Christians continue to grow, and at rates greater than official statistics would imply. Pentecostal and charismatic groups are increasing especially rapidly. Chennai in particular enjoys a significant Christian presence. The large majority of this outreach and growth occurs among Dalit and tribal peoples. Pray for:

a) Tamil Nadu’s brilliant legacy of establishing Christian ministries and sending missionaries. Many Christian organizations throughout India have been founded by Tamils. Pray that mission vision and outreach may continue to be important parts of Tamil Nadu Christianity.

b) Christian training and leadership. Tamil Nadu has many training opportunities available, from Bible schools to less formal systems, including short-term courses. Pray for the effective training of pastors, lay leaders and missionaries.

c) The complications of money.

     i Sponsorship and assistance from outside sources can affect decision making, values and motivation. “Successful” ministries will see greater income for both ministry and minister. Pray that those in Kingdom service might not be swayed by such influences.

     ii The reservation system gives greater chances of education, employment and social benefits to Dalits and tribals who remain in – or reconvert back to – Hinduism. Choosing to follow Christ therefore has serious implications for Dalits, especially if Christians fail to provide assistance and opportunities for these generally impoverished people.

     For an additional 3 Challenges for Prayer see Operation World book, CD-ROM, or DVD-ROM.

More Information

The Operation World book, CD-ROM, and DVD-ROM provide far more information and fuel for prayer for the people of Tamil Nadu.