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Indian Missions have pioneered well in the last fifty years of their existence. They are growing and expanding very fast. The Indian Mission challenges are also increasing as the social, political, and economic situation changes. New issues emerge as we learn to meet the growing challenges.
There is a great need for missions to face these new challenges and issues, to pray, to think through them and come up with strategies and plan to meet them. The following are some of the key mission challenges that need to be effectively addressed. To address them we will need creative open minded people who will be willing to change and change others and take them to move forward
The population of India was one billion in the year 2000.
1947: 400 million
1987: 800 million
2000: 1000 million
Christian Population :
1971 ? 2.59% (Census of India)
1991 -- 2.32% (Census of India)
2001 ? Data not available
The total number of Christians goes on increasing, but the above census figures indicate that the proportion of Christian population to the total population was decreasing. Every one in our country should have the opportunity to know who Jesus Christ is and who God is.
There are 953 ethnic people groups in India, each with a population more than 10,000. Of these 204 people groups, each with a population of more than 50,000, are yet to have a worshipping fellowship among them.
Mega Peoples of India:
There are nearly 150 mega people groups with a population over one million each. Several of these mega people groups are strategic in their regions and politically influential. Many of them are spread around the country. Some of the politically powerful people groups are: Jats, Vokkalingas, Lingayats, Ezhavas, Nairs, Kamma, Reddys, Patnaiks, Patels, Marathas, Yadavs, Kurmi, Rajputs, Thakurs, Thevars, Vanniars and Gujjars.
Dalits & Adivasis(Tribal people):
There are 236 (each population above 10,000) Dalit or Scheduled Castes people groups and 232 (each population above 10,000) Scheduled Tribes. Out of these 39 Dalit groups and 33 tribes do not have any worshipping group.
There are 222 languages in India, each of which is spoken by at least 10,000 people. Of these 71 languages do not have any Scripture portion. How can the people be discipled to follow Christ, if they do not have the Scripture in their own mother tongue?
The Bible is now available in 52 languages. In certain major languages, there are several versions of the Bible. New Testament is available in another 48 languages. Much more needs to be done in the future to get the Word in the mother tongues of the people.
There are about 27,000 postal codes in India. In 1998, it was found that 18,000 of these postal code areas did not have a single resident Christian worker as a witness.
There are 300 Cities with a population of more than one hundred thousand; 35 cities with a population of more than one million. Most of the district headquarters and state capitals have become regional hubs. The elites, middle class, migrants and the marginalised are common in all cities.
300 million middle class, educated thinkers and vocal decision makers.
The Great Indian Middle Class, around 300 million people, is equivalent to the total population of the USA. They are the basis for public opinion that influences government decisions and target of multinational business. The Indian economy is controlled by the ?purchasing power? of the middle class. A hue and cry is raised whenever the proposal for reducing the subsidy of the domestic cooking gas, which is primarily used by the middle class. The middle class people groups like the Patels in Gujarat, Banias in Uttar Pradesh and Nairs in Kerala influence the economics, politics and vote banks in elections.
More than twenty million Indians are dispersed around the world. Some control the economies of certain nations. Many are open to the Gospel in foreign lands.
1947 ? 20 million literate (6% of the total population)
Today - 650 million literate (65%)
India has the largest English speaking population in the world and has the second largest number of Television Channels and viewers.
There are 170 million neighbours -- one of the world?s largest and most accessible communities. We need to share the Good News with them.
Most popular ?Bandhus? respect and are open to follow the Lord. We need to accept and disciple them.
Men ? 531 million
Women - 495 million
Female infanticide and dowry deaths are common in India. Women are culture bearers and change agents. The number of daughters and women of God is to increase.
The World's Youngest Nation 54% of the population is less than 25 years old, 70% less than 35 years, 64% less than 29 years. The future leaders are young people in the changing culture.
There are 228 universities, 40 deemed universities, 11,089 colleges and 7,417,968 students enrolled out of which 34.7% are girls. There are fellowships and / or Bible Study / Prayer Groups in 4,000 colleges only.
Specially Abled People
There are one hundred and fifty million (15% of the population) specially abled people in India. We need more emphasis on discipling and integrating them into our communities.
A commissioned Christian worker and his family have material, physical, emotional and spiritual needs. We need to care for them.
Christian believers are scattered within our country and in the world, either voluntarily or involuntarily. They need to be witnesses in the community in which they live and work.
Missions and Churches should recognize, envision and empower them to be more effective.
Holistic Gospel and Transformation must be our focus. We need to influence the whole of the Indian Society as salt and light. Christians are called to be actively involved in all the seven mind molders / the areas of influence in a society: Arts, Business, Community, Media, Education, Family and Government.
THE CHALLENGE TO SERVE THE NEEDS IN INDIA IS HUGE. (Thanks to IMA)