<%@ Language=VBScript %> <%Response.Buffer=true%> MISSION CHALLENGES:

Indian Mission Challenges Today

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

Population
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

Christian Population
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 Christ followers.

Languages
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.

Cities
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 cities.

Influencers
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 in elections.

Diaspora
More than thirty million Indians are dispersed around the world. Some control the economies of certain nations. Many are open to the Gospel in foreign lands.

Literacy
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.

Neighbours
There are 170 million neighbours -- one of the world’s largest and most accessible communities. We need to share the Good News with them.

Popular Bandus
Most popular ‘Bandhus’ respect and are open to follow the Lord. We need to accept and disciple them.

Stree
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 increase.

Young Eagles
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.

Transformation
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.

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For further information please feel free to contact us at ima@imaindia.org
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