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
The population of India was one billion in the year 2000.
1947: 400 million
1987: 800 million
2001: 1,028 million
2011: 1210.2 million
1971 – 2.59% (Census of India)
1991 -- 2.32% (Census of India)
2001 – 2.3% (Census of India)
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.
Mega Peoples of India
There are nearly 150 mega people groups with a population of more than one
million. 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. None of these mega
people groups have any significant movement of Christ followers except
recently among the Lingayats in Karnataka. There are no major churches or
mission agencies that have a focused ministry to serve among these mega
people groups. They are often over looked as not being responsive simply for
the reason of very little effort in contextually communicating the good news
or providing an environment of appropriate integration among the established
There are 234 languages in India, each of which is spoken by at least 10,000
people.Constitutionally there are 22 official languages. The official
language is Hindi (spoken by 40% of the population). English is a subsidiary
official language. All languages 456, including 18 with more than 10 million
speakers. The SIL Ethnologue lists 438 living languages.
The Bible is now available in 71 languages. In certain major languages,
there are several versions of the Bible. New Testament is available in
another 120 languages. Much more needs to be done in the future to get the
Word in the mother tongues of the people.
Urbanization is very rapid around the country as villages disappear faster
than urban infrastructure can be put in place. 459 cities with population of
more than 100,000, including 45 with more than a million people each.Most of
the district headquarters and state capitals have become regional hubs. The
elites, middle class, migrants and the marginalised are common in all
The Great Indian Middle Class, around 350 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
More than thirty million Indians are dispersed around the world. Some
control the economies of certain nations. Many are open to the Gospel in
1947 - 20 million literate (6% of the total population)
Today - 74.04% literates.
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 – 623 Millions
Women - 586 Millions
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
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.
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
THE CHALLENGE TO SERVE THE NEEDS IN INDIA IS HUGE.