(A note from Kevin: If you like what you read why not sign up to help me pray weekly for all the Muslim majority countries one by one. If you are on a laptop or an I-pad the link is on your right, if on a smart phone just scroll to the bottom of the posts under the heading P.I.C.T.U.R.E)
This week we look at India, which does not have a Muslim majority, but never-the-less has nearly 200 million Muslim citizens, or one in seven on the whole planet! I lived in New Delhi for a year in 1981 and call India my second home. It is an extraordinary place and something spiritually explosive is happening there that will soon change the world, and Islam!
India has an ancient, complex and often historically impenetrable past. It was home to the Bronze Age Harapan civilization, was then invaded by the Iranian Aryans who subjugated the Dravidian race and pushed them to the south. It was also invaded by Alexander the Great, the Muslim Empire and the British. It birthed two of the world’s largest religions: Hinduism and Buddhism. Both Buddhism and Islam tried and failed to conquer the might and heart of the ancient Hindu religion. Instead, India eventually exported its Hinduism, and then its new Buddhism across South East Asian and up into China and Afghanistan. In some places it stayed, in others Islam destroyed the exports. Today it exports the New Age movement to the West. In amongst all this religious confetti there appeared a spearhead of Christianity in the 1st Century with the arrival of the Apostle Thomas on a Roman Trading ship!
India is an enigma to most Westerners: It is vast and old with mind-boggling statistics. It has 456 distinct languages. It is home to 2,500 distinct people groups, 500 cities with over 100,000 people and the world’s fastest growing major economy. It oozes confidence via a highly educated, rapidly expanding middle class sitting alongside a soul-destroying system of religiously sanctioned racial discrimination of castes. It squeezes 1.3 billion people in an area one third the size of China and is consequently suffering massive environmental degradation and a large outflow of people. Unlike many emerging economies it has the rule of law and a functioning democracy thanks to the British. India could very well be THE superpower before the end of this century with its 1.7 billion people against China’s ever shrinking 1 billion.
In a nutshell, Christianity came with Thomas, thrived and then settled down in the southern states of Kerala and Tamil Nadu. Then came the British with the likes of William Carey and a small army of missionaries. In the Twentieth Century the South Indian Christians started evangelising the Hindu heartland in the north, and I joined them in that task. Now in the 21st Century a fourth wave of New Testament style house churches is taking the north by storm while mega-churches are springing up like mushrooms in the south.
There is an amazing spiritual transformation taking place in India that I believe is unparalleled in the history of Christianity. I saw it firsthand in 2009 when I attended the Inaugural World House Church Conference. Only at the end were we introduced to who our servants for the conference really were. These 12 or so young men were the leaders of movements numbering from 50,000 to 300,000. We have kept in touch with one of these men and his movement has grown from 80,000 to nearly 1 million since then. These movements have deliberately reproduced the New Testament model of church which is being led by the Holy Spirit instead of man. The results are astounding. You can read about them here, here, here and here, and listen to one leader explain his transformation here.
The knock on effect on the Muslims of India is going to be huge in the decades ahead. One network that sent me a report after the conference was seeing 25% growth in Muslims coming to Jesus and being discipled every year for the first decade of this century. One network leader told me several years ago when visiting Australia that he was heading back to baptise the head Imam of Chandigah after seeing him won to Jesus. These new believers will be the bridgehead into the vast Muslim community in North India and the Middle East. Prayer is changing the future of this most important of nations and those changes will ripple out into the countries that surround India.
Below is an example of one house church get together belonging to the network led by Anaroop Swamy, a leader whom we met personally at the conference mentioned above. This extract highlights succinctly what is now happening in India:
For about 2 1/2 hours (the time flew by), with no leader directing the action, person after person shared a testimony, a song, a prayer, a scripture, a teaching or encouragement; one lady even shared a remarkable parable. No one asked for testimonies or anything else; people just spontaneously shared. The Apostle Paul told the Corinthians that when the church gathers each one has something to contribute. (1 Cor 14:26) This is what I saw. Each of these people (about 45 of them) were constantly winning others to the Lord through taking the time to be building new relationships and in this context of care, introducing them to Jesus. Many testified of meeting the Lord through the kindness of a stranger who became a brother or sister. I heard many testimonies of remarkable healings and deliverance. Two women shared about raising the dead. One lady raised a man from the dead simply by preaching the Gospel over his body until he opened his eyes and sat up! Another lady shared excitedly about the 22 people she baptized in a day. Another shared that she had asked the Lord for 300 disciples (new believers who make other disciples). She announced that since she had now done that, she was asking for 3,000 more disciples. All over the room they spoke out how many disciples they were asking the Lord for in the next month. The smallest number I heard was 5; the highest was 40––for one month. The time finished with communion and taking a meal together.
There is no surer sign of the accuracy of the above assessment than the increasingly frequent reports of rising persecution of Christians. Satan is worried.
Pray for India’s missionaries, who are now numerically the largest missionary force in the world
Pray for the rapidly multiplying house churches to spread into the Arab countries
Pray for many more Muslims to come to Jesus in the house churches
Pray for the continuation of the supernatural outpouring of the Holy Spirit in this nation
Pray for Existing churches to be free of the worst of Western influences such as the hyper-prosperity doctrines and end-times negativism
Pray for a breakthrough among the elite Brahmin caste people group
Pray for the greatest harvest of souls in the history of the world to spill out to all corners of the earth.
Pray for the states of Bihar, and Haryana which are officially still only 0.1% Christian
Rejoice with the angels at what is already happening!!!!!