April 2016


Dear Brothers & Sisters in Christ,


Greetings in the Blessed name of our Risen Lord and Saviour Christ Jesus.


As we observed the Death and Resurrection of Saviour and Master Christ Jesus, it is my hope that we  all have been able to re-affirm our faith and belief, that indeed, we are worshipping and serving a Risen God with the assurance of eternal life with God. In fact, the Resurrection of our Lord makes our belief unique. Apostle Paul explains to the believers in the Church at Corinth (1 Cor.15) that our Faith is “vain” without the Cross and the Resurrection. But “Praise God” the resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth after three days is a historical fact! Thus we know that our faith is not in vain and we have Hope. “Therefore, (let us) be steadfast, unmovable, always”.


In the month of March, there have been some significant leadership changes especially, in the Evangelical Fellowship of India (EFI) and the Friends Missionary Prayer Band (FMPB). Rev Simon Ponniah was replaced by Rev Sundarshan Thomas as the General Secretary of the FMPB on 1stMarch. Rev Vijayesh Lal has replaced Rev Richard Howell as the new head of EFI on the 1st April.


IMA family wishes to thank God for giving to India a leader like Rev Dr Richard Howell who for over two decades led the EFI and made significant contributions to the Church in India. Rev Simon Ponniah has been with FMPB for over many years beginning as a grassroots missionary and rising to be the head of the organisation through dedicated ministry.  Let us all continue to pray that God will grant both Rev Dr Richard Howell and Rev Simon Ponniah good health and they will continue to be a blessing to the Indian Church.  At the same time let us uphold the two new leaders as they take up the reigns in these two very important organisations.


We were able to conduct one Training Programme for workers among the Neighbours in Lucknow where 39 participated. I wish to thank Mr Biswajit Patra the Coordinator of IMA Neighbour’s Network, Mr Solomon Babu,IMA Training Coordinator, for their able leadership in making this training possible and the resource persons for the valuable lessons taught. Moreover our sincere thanks and gratitude to Bishop Rolly Singh and his team of the Zion Seva, Lucknow for hosting the training and bearing the bulk of the expenses.


It was also an honour and privilege for me to have been the chief guest at the “Lighting Ceremony” of the St Paul’s College for Women, Coimbatore. The ceremony was the valedictory occasion for 135 students who would be graduating from the college this academic year. I am also grateful to Rev S P Daniel and his wife for the hospitality they offered and fellowship we enjoyed and to brother Daniel and his son Sam for accompanying me to the St Paul’s Ceremony.


One glaring reality that I observe, as I travel around this great country of ours, is that the Christian population is stagnant for the past fifty years or so. Since, the 1950s the official figure of Christian population in India hovers around 2.3%. Even Tamil Nadu’s Christian population stands at about 7%. This is one state from where so many missionaries have gone out to every corner of India, and yet I realise that there is still so much work to be done. As such, we need to retrospect and seek reasons for the stagnation and look for measures to positively address it. Perhaps, we are too comfortable and do not want to hurt the sentiment of people of other faiths or maybe we care less that millions are without Christ, without hope doomed for eternal condemnation.


It is my prayer that we as followers of Christ will not rest comfortably till we proclaim Christ to every Indian.


Sincerely in Christ,


Rev. Dr. I. Wati Longkumer

General Secretary, India Missions Association






R. Theodore Srinivasagam*


There is only one book in the Old Testament that is completely devoted to show God’s compassion towards the non-Jewish people, the gentiles. That is the book of Jonah.


The service of the Prophet Jonah is recorded in 2nd Kings 14:25-27 during the reign of Jeroboam II (786-746 BC). There we read that Jonah’s first prophetic assignment was to announce the good news of Israel regaining land that had been lost. So he was considered a prophet of good news.


But God also wanted to show his compassion to other people and he chose Jonah. This is the only instance in the Old Testament times, a Jewish prophet, Jonah, was called of God to go to a gentile people to proclaim God’s judgment and compassion towards them. This was a precursor of what Jesus himself would do later in the New Testament times.


But Jonah rebelled, but God had his own way to bring back Jonah to himself and to do God’s bidding. This brief study will try to bring out the compassion that God has towards all people and how we are reluctant to do his will.


The book of Jonah can be divided into 7 sections. Of these, the first three sections parallel the next three and the final section is the climax of the story.


1.       Commissioning of Jonah and his disobedience (1:1-3)

Jonah was commissioned by God to go to the Assyrian city of Nineveh and “preach against it” because of its wickedness. But he fled from God and took a boat to Tarshish in Spain, in the western end of the Mediterranean Sea, on the opposite side of Nineveh. He might have even thought that it may be God’s will for him to go to Tarshish as a boat was ready and money for the fare was also available! Sometimes when everything is going right, you conclude that God’s hand must be in it. But that may not be the case at all. You need something more specific than circumstances. You need the confirmation of the word of God” (O. Palmer Robertson - "Jonah: A study in Compassion").


But he knew he was fleeing from God. So, why did he flee? He should have been happy that God was going to bring judgment on the hated and cruel Assyrian people of Nineveh. He himself answers it by declaring, “I knew that you are a gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger and abounding in love, a God who relents from sending calamity” (Jonah 4:2). This is what God declared about himself to Moses (Exod. 34:6, 7) and Jonah repeats it. The problem wasn’t Jonah’s knowledge or beliefs. The problem was Jonah’s heart. He lacked God’s heart for lost people. He knew God’s real character and he did not like it. So he fled from the presence of God. Do we flee from God when he asks us to do things that are inconvenient to us or go against our own belief system?


2.       Communication of Jonah with the Gentile sailors (1:4-16)

Jonah went and had a deep and peaceful sleep in the ship. How careful we should be in not depending upon our feelings when we seek to do God’s will, as Jonah had a good sleep with nothing to bother him! When he was woken up when the storm was fierce, he told them he was a Hebrew and he said, “I worship the Lord, the God of heaven, who made the sea and the land” (1:9). He also had told them that he was running away from his God (1:10). His theology was correct and he was honest. This made the gentile sailors afraid as they were used to worshipping geographical, ethnic, clan, family or house gods as the majority of the people in India do. What they heard was something entirely new. Finally when they threw Jonah into the sea and saw that the sea calmed, “the men greatly feared the Lord, and they offered a sacrifice to the Lord and made vows to him.”(1:16). Therefore Jonah’s sharing about his God brought true faith in the lives of the sailors. Telling the facts about our God often brings conviction to the hearts of people who do not know him and leads them to faith. Do we do that?


3.       Grateful prayer of Jonah (1:17-2:10)

God had prepared a great fish to swallow Jonah and he stayed in its belly for three days. It was while he was in the stomach of the fish that Jonah came to his senses. He began to praise God for saving him and prayed to God. He acknowledged that the God he worshipped was a God of “grace” and “salvation comes from the Lord” (2:8, 9). It is because of God’s grace there can be mercy and compassion.


He also realized he could not escape from God or ignore God’s call on him and so said, “What I have vowed I will make good.” How often we think that we can ignore God or his call on us to our own peril. God has a way to confront us about our disobedience. Do we acknowledge God’s grace in our own lives day after day?


4.       Re-commissioning of Jonah and his obedience (3:1-3a)

It was because of God’s grace that that Jonah was commissioned again to go and proclaim the message of God in Nineveh. This time Jonah obeyed the Lord.


It is not very often that God gives people a second chance to fulfill his exact purposes. God may give other opportunities for service if we ignore his call the first time. But in this case because of God’s special grace on Jonah we find that God gave Jonah the same job to do the second time. Are we conscious that God has a specific work for each one of us to do? Are we fulfilling them as directed by God?


5.       Communication of Jonah with the people of Nineveh (3:3b-10)

Imperial Nineveh, where the king lived was a large city and was much larger than the town of Nineveh. It was a metropolis that included four neighbouring cities and its perimeter was over 95 kms. It was inhabited by a godless, wicked, violent people, the Assyrians. Archaeological inscriptions have been found in which Assyrian kings boast of their own cruelty, such as flaying their enemies and hanging their skin on the city walls.


Jonah proclamation was blunt, “Forty more days and Nineveh will be overturned” (3:4). We do not know whether, Jonah also proclaimed about Jehovah and his compassion to those who repent and put their faith in him. It took him 3 days to cover the whole city.


But the proclamation had a telling effect on the people of Nineveh. It is possible that they realized if the fierce northern mountain tribes of Urartu, Mannai and Madai came down to the plains of the Tigris River, they were in real danger. So from the King to the lowest person they fasted, put on sack cloth and repented of their wickedness and violence. The King decreed,”Let everyone call urgently on God. Let them give up their evil ways and their violence. Who knows? God may yet relent and with compassion turn from his fierce anger so that we will not perish.” God, who saw that the people had turned from their evil ways, had compassion on them and did not bring about the destruction he had threatened. The king who sought compassion received compassion.


What a great miracle happened when Jonah preached! The whole city including the King repented and turned from their wickedness. This is what happens if God is the one who sends and we implicitly obey him in proclaiming God’s word. Our God is a God of great compassion!


6.       Angry prayer of Jonah (4:1-3)

Jonah is the only prophet in the entire Bible who fulfilled his mission and converted all the people in a city. He was a very successful missionary. He should have been exceedingly happy and should be praising God for that.


But we read that Jonah was greatly displeased and became angry. Why was that? He was resentful at God for saving the hated enemy and being so compassionate to them. Mercy triumphed over judgment, but mercy made Jonah angry.


He realized that God was true to his character of being gracious, compassionate, and slow in anger, abounding in love and one who relents from sending calamity (4:2). He had saved 1, 20,000 people from destruction, apart from cattle, and Jonah did not like it. He wanted judgment not compassion from God. So he wanted to die. So great was his anger and depression.


Do we sulk like this if things do not go according to our plans? Do we understand God’s purposes for this world? Are we judgmental or compassionate?


7.       Learning about God’s compassion by Jonah (4:4-11)

God taught Jonah a lesson regarding compassion. Jonah was waiting in a shed he constructed outside the city to see if God would destroy Nineveh after his angry prayer. God made a plant to grow to give shade to him. A day later he also appointed a worm to destroy the plant and made a hot wind to blow on him. This made Jonah angry and he again wanted to die.


So God asks him three questions. The first one was, “Do you have any right to be angry?” (4:4). He might have said,”Yes” as God showed compassion on a wicked people. This sounds noble. The second one God asks, “Do you have a right to be angry about the vine?” (4:9). It looks silly and petty to be angry about a plant and a worm which he did not create. The third question was concerning the city of Nineveh with 1, 20,000 people whom God created and do not have moral standards and so cannot tell from their right hand from their left. God asks him, “Should I not be concerned about that great city?”


This sums up the message of the book. God whom we worship, though a righteous God is also a compassionate God. He is eager to forgive those who repent and believe in him. What about us?


Jonah is a type of the people of Israel who were God’s covenant people. The people of Israel were supposed to be His channel of salvation for all people (Gen. 12:1-3). But they had kept the blessings for themselves. They had lost God’s heart of compassion for the nations. Are we like that?


* Dr R. Theodore Srinivasagam is the Executive Consultant of the India Missions Association. He was formerly the General Secretary of IMA.


Rev. Dr. Richard Howell retires and Rev. Vijayesh Lal installed


The Evangelical Fellowship of India (EFI) held a farewell function for its General Secretary Rev. Dr. Richard Howell, on the evening of 1st April 2016 at the Delhi Bible Institute near Khan Market, New Delhi. He led this foremost evangelical body for two decades and revolutionized the organization. It also held the installation of his successor, Rev. Vijayesh Lal as its Executive Director.


With the theme, "The man who touches millions of hearts," the farewell function for Rev. Dr. Richard Howell was well attended by top evangelical leaders, who flew in from various parts of the country and abroad. They testified how Dr. Howell brought evangelicals from various and varied theological backgrounds together under one platform and gave them the necessary united voice to expand the mission of Christ touching millions of hearts in the country and beyond.


Rev. Dr. Richard Howell giving the farewell speech


Dr. Howell, who hails from Punjab, had served EFI as its General Secretary for 20 long years (1996-2016) and he is currently the General Secretary for Asia Evangelical Alliance (AEA) and the Vice-President of the World Evangelical Alliance. Although he leaves the organization as the General Secretary he will remain as Chairman of the EFI Council of Churches (EFICC), a body that came into being last year. Earlier, he had served as a Principal of the Allahabad Bible Seminary (1990-96) and as a pastor and had preached the word of God around the world.


Rev. Vijayesh Lal, newly installed Executive Director of EFI speaking


The new Executive Director, Rev. Vijayesh Lal has an MBA degree as well as a theology degree and belongs to Jabalpur, Madhya Pradesh. He has been serving the Evangelical Fellowship of India in various positions including as National Director of its Religious Liberty Commission. He thanked the outgoing leader for being an example to everyone. "Rev. Dr. Richard Howell's position can never be filled. I will never be Dr. Howell. I can be Vijayesh Lal at best," he said.


Extract from




P. Selvaraj *


January 1st 1981 is a very important day in my life. I joined Vishwa Vani as a full time worker, as the Lord destined me for his unmatched service. Beloved Emil Jebasingh Annan invited me, to become a full time worker. Till then I was a voluntary worker. In those days only three of us were full time workers with Vishwa Vani in Tamil Nadu. God who called is faithful. This has been proved to me time and again during the last 35 years. I moved on from Tuticorin to Chennai and then to Hyderabad and was the Executive Director for the past 22 years till 2015.


Vishwa Vani – A Quick Glance:

The Lord led the Israelites mightily for 40 years in the wilderness, yet their clothes were not worn out and their feet did not swell. The Lord led Vishwa Vani in the same way all through these years. He is our strength. He amply rewarded us with 2213 worship groups and 745 church buildings. Efforts of our missionaries, prayer warriors and their generous contribution brought significant fruit. We were able to preach the gospel in unreached villages, heal the broken-hearted and liberate many from captivity in the name of Jesus. Many people have accepted Jesus Christ as their personal savior and are saved. They are finding peace at the foot of the Cross. I thank the Holy Spirit of God for the indescribable gifts he has given us all through these years.


Today Vishwa Vani has 3437 full time workers across 26 states in India. Our vision is to send 20,000 fulltime workers to 300 people / language groups by 2020 and to reach 1, 00,000 villages. The core values are unreached villages, Native workers and Indian support. The Mighty Lord has done great things! Number of new churches has blossomed for the glory of the Lord and new souls are added daily. On an average 8 churches are dedicated every month. Our missionaries serve in 1343 mission fields spread across 136 districts of this great country of Bharat. The Lord is doing marvelous things.


Vishwa Vani's mission fields are spread across 23 states. Among them, the fields in Sikkim, Tripura, Gujarat, and Andhra Pradesh are experiencing tremendous growth in church activities. To strengthen the fields and continue the proclamation of the Good News to every nook and corner of these states it has been decided to make the fields and churches self-governing, in their respective states. This will enable us to hasten the field ministry.


The Vishwa Vani Missionary Movement will be a Mission Arm of Vishwa Vani Church – India, through whom God-given guidance, counselling, prayer and financial support are received. Vishwa Vani will keep going according to its strategy of surveying needy villages, opening new mission fields, recruiting, training and sending the native workers to light up the Gospel torch in villages. The Vision given to the ministry of Vishwa Vani is to see the Glorious gospel of Jesus Christ blessing villages in India. Do pray and participate! “It has always been my ambition to preach the gospel where Christ was not known, so that I would not be building on someone else’s foundation” (Romans 15:20).


The next Five Prime years and 1000 Field Workers' Dedication:

The voice of victory that reverberates in the minds of all who work and pray with Vishwa Vani is to reach out to one lakh villages through twenty thousand Field Workers.  Let all the believers wait at the Lord's feet through prayer and fasting and chalk out new special action plans so as to achieve the vision before 2020. The harvest is plenty but there is an urgent need to send more field workers. Let the young hearts come forward to work for the Lord. We need sponsors to support them. Your support will result in adopting new villages not reached so far. The dedication plan of 1000 field workers is only a beginning in our onward march. Let us expect wonderful things from God! Let us move on!


New Responsibilities:

Bro. W. Wilson Gnanakumar has assumed charge as the new Executive Director. I have been appointed as the Chairman for “Vishwa Vani Network” coordinating Vishwa Vani Movement, Vishwa Vani's Church Ministry and Community Development ministries.


Vishwa Vani Samarpan Magazine:

Our monthly magazine Vishwa Vani Samarpan carries the facts and figures of all our ministry activities across India. 1, 45,000 homes receive ‘Samarpan’ the monthly magazine, published in 10 Indian languages for prayer and involvement. To keep you updated about the ministry and to pray for us, you may kindly subscribe Rs. 100/- (one hundred) for one year.


Greetings and thanks:

We thank the Lord Almighty for guiding us throughout these years. We thank all the bishops, presbyters, pastors, co-workers, and partners in the ministry. We also thank all the believers and churches who are supporting liberally for the constructions of church buildings in remote villages. Let this New Year be a Year of Evangelism! God Bless You!


* Mr. P. Selvaraj is presently the Chairman of VISHWA VANI NETWORK. He served as the Executive Director of Vishwa Vani from 1993 to 2015.




Bishop Dr. P. R. Parichha*


The overall scenario in India has changed dramatically since the new Government came to power in New Delhi in 2014. There were subtle changes made to undercut festival days of the minorities. The first attempt was to make the ‘Day of Christmas’ as a ‘Good Governance Day’. In 2015 a workshop was organised in New Delhi for Chief Justices of all States on ‘Good Friday’. There was a hue and cry on the issue of Beef Ban and tragically many precious lives were lost. People are scared to talk about intolerance!


Now coming to Christian Persecution, it is ever increasing all over the country. In many places Christian communities are living in fear and anxiety. Early this year believers were beaten up and a village church was destroyed in Malkangiri district of Odisha. A pastor in Uttar Pradesh was taken in a procession by a mob from his house, through the streets of his village riding a donkey with his head half shaved and a garland of shoes around his neck on charges of conversion. What a humiliating attack? He later fled the village feeling insecure. Nuns were raped in different parts of the country, including a 72 year old Nun in West Bengal. Pastors were arrested on false charges of abetting conversions. Worship places were attacked and churches converted to temples. In Chhattisgarh State 50 villages restricted entry of Christian missionaries a year ago which is constitutionally unlawful. The worst Christian persecution took place in 2008 in Odisha’s Kandhamal district where 50,000 people were displaced. The list goes on and on.


India is the largest democracy in the world with a population of 1.2 billion. It is a pluralistic, secular and democratic State. The Constitution of India in Article 25, guarantees religious freedom to every citizen to profess and practice his/her own religion of his/her choice. This is the fundamental right of every citizen in the country. Yet Religious Freedom is being curtailed day by day in India. Eight out of 29 States in India have ‘Anti-conversion laws’, known as Freedom of Religion Act. The latest news is that India has denied visas to members of an US Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) who wanted to discuss and assess ‘deteriorating’ religious freedom conditions in the country. Mr. Robert P. George, the chairman of the independent Commission said, “USCIRF will continue to pursue a visit to India, given the ongoing reports from religious communities, civil society groups, and NGOs that the conditions for religious freedom in India are deteriorating since 2014”. 


One more shock is the Foreign Currency Regulation Act!! According to FCRA 2010 revision, all Missions and NGOs have to apply for renewal for the next five years. Things are in the process.  Children’s Homes and Orphanages are under the scanner by both State and Central Governments. Each Children’s Home or Orphanage has to be registered under the ‘Child Protection Policy’, with the concerned department under the District Collector. The govt demands adequate infrastructure with facilities to meet the guide lines for its functioning. Many Children’s Homes have been closed down as a result of this new policy of the govt.


 If the situation continues in this manner the Christian ministries across the country will be squeezed. Imagine what would happen if conversion is banned and it becomes a national law?


Where do we stand? 

* Bishop Dr. Pran Ranjan Parichha, DD is the Founding Bishop of Community Church of India, Cuttack, Odisha and is the Chairman of the India Missions Association.  Email:




9 – 11 MARCH 2016, LUCKNOW
Solomon Babu, IMA Training Coordinator


IMA organized a Neighbours Training Programme from 9th – 11th March in Lucknow in partnership with Zion Sewa, Lucknow. This training program was for three days with lots of practical teaching and discussions. We praise God for this wonderful learning experience.


On the first day Bishop Rolly Singh inaugurated the training programme using the Word of God. He shared how important it was to concentrate on the neighbours ministry today. IMA leaders Dr Wati Longkumer, General Secretary, Mr. Biswajit Patra Coordinator of the Neighbours Network, Mr. Solomon Babu, Training Coordinator, Mr. Zomingthanga, Executive Secretary, Member Relations and Dr. R. Theodore Srinivasagam, Executive Consultant participated.


Participants in the training programme


There were 39 participants who attended the entire course from Zion Sewa, Indian Evangelical Mission, Neighbours Peace Ministry, Neighbour Hope India which is a part of Emmanuel Christian Fellowship Centre, Blessing Youth Mission, YWAM and few other non -IMA Missions and along with the faculty team.


We were very happy to see a number of missions coming forward with a burden to venture into the neighbours ministry.


There were experts from IMA, Good Shepherd Ministry, Gospel Recordings, Zion Sewa and Immerge-In who came to share their success stories and experiences and encouraged participants to be involved in the neighbours ministry.


The following are some of the topics that were dealt with and discussed in groups:

·         Contextualization in the neighbours context

·         Understanding contextualization from the book of ACTS.

·         Contextualization of house churches

·         How  church based team work is an important strategy to work among Neighbours

·         Misconceptions on churches among Neighbours

·         Prayer for love for Muslims and praying with them

·         How you can love neighbours

·         How learning their language helps etc.


The participants participated very actively and were blessed with their participation and contribution.

On the Last day, Rev I Wati Longkumer, IMA General Secretary did the Commissioning of the participants and closed the meeting with prayer.


Some feedback:

·         After attending this training the negative phobia on Neighbours decreased.

·         Meeting MMBs increased our faith.

·         Meeting more people with same burden and struggles motivated me.

·         I have learnt from the concept of PEACE and I will be the son of peace to them.

·         I am going to use story form to reach out to them.

·         House church concept was a blessing

·         They can be brought to Isa Mashi if we approach them correctly

·         Approaches of neighbors were encouraging.

·         Listening to them sometimes is better than preaching

·         Make disciples and train them to do so

·         Firstly I will share all what I have learnt in these three days with my co-workers and encourage them to make friendship with Neighbours.

·         This is my first experience and I have enjoyed it.


We pray that the Lord will use all the participants in the furtherance of the Gospel among the Neighbours in the coming days.




Rev. Simon Ponniah retires and Rev. Sudharshan Thomas takes over

The Friends Missionary Prayer Band (FMPB) appointed Rev. Sudarshan Thomas as its new General Secretary on 1st March 2016 on the retirement of Rev. Simon Ponniah. The dedication service was held at the Emmanuel Methodist Church, Chennai.


It was a very solemn and joyful occasion, as leaders from various churches and mission bodies came together for this historic event, in the presence of Dr. Sam Kamalesan (FMPB), Bro. Patrick Joshua (FMPB), the Most Rev. Bishop Ezra Sargunam (ECI), Dr. Paul Dinakaran (Jesus Calls), Rev. Dr. Wati Longkumer (IMA), Rev. Dr. Rajasingh Elias (IEM), Rev. Suresh Rajan (NMS), Mr. Cherian (World Vision) Mr. Alex Mathew (Wycliffe India) and leaders of FMPB from various parts of India.


 Dedication Service Pictures


We thank God for Rev Simon Ponniah, the outgoing General Secretary for his involvement in the ministry for the past 37 years and continue to remember him in his new assignment. Please uphold Rev. Sudarshan Thomas, his wife Mrs. Lydia Thomas and their daughter Mahima in your prayers.


Extract from an email of Mr l kingsly, FMPB <>



Vision 2020

  • To reach out to about 5 lakh children, young people and families through different means

  • To mould and disciple at least 10,000 of them in the Christian faith

  • 100 prayer cells to be started in various part of India and week of prayer to be celebrated with real thirst

Extract from Scripture Union – Prayer Update Apr – June 2016



Mission KMG

  • Reaching and establishing ministry in 300 campuses and cities in the southwest region where there is no ministry; that’s what Mission KMG is! This expands the scope of ministry to new campuses and domains through key volunteers and trained leaders. Student leaders, youth, professionals, pastors and lay leaders come near to get involved with the project as we use every meeting as a platform to introduce the KMG project. We provide the needed outreach tools, including Jesus Film (JF) DVDs, to the volunteers.

  • KMG Statistics of the last 6 months: 610 volunteers were trained; 30 new campuses opened; 6 new cities where ministry started.

Extract from Harvest Times, bi-monthly News Bulletin of ICCC, South-West Region. Vol.IX/HTSW01/0316





General Information:

Pop. in India - 16,76,000
Pop. in S. Asia - 16,76,000
Countries - India
Religions - Hindu (99.22%), Muslim (0.06%), Christian (0.01%), Other (0.71%)
Main Language: Telugu
Other Languages - Kannada, Tamil, Oriya
Largest States - Karnataka, Telangana, Tamil Nadu, Odisha, Maharashtra
Alternate Names - Bogam, Vaidu, Khelta, Kasban, Naidu, Munnur, Mutrasi, Kasbi, Bajajiga, Balegara, BogamTelaga, ChettiBalija, Janappan, Mannur, Matracha, Mutrasi, Janappan

Introduction: The Balijas are a large trading community of mixed origin of the former Madras Presidency. They are frequently called Naidu from the Teluguword "Nayakdu" meaning a prince or leader. The name Balija may also have come from the mixed caste called Linga Balijas started by Basava, the founder of the Lingayat sect of Shaivites.


Location and Language: Found in Nagpur, Jabalpur and Raipur and their origins may be from Madurai, Thanjavur and Vijayanagaram in south India. The major language is Telugu.


Lifestyle and Culture: Balijas have two main sub-divisions: Desa or Kota and Peta. The Desas are from the old Balija kings while Petas are traders in bangles, salt, etc. Marriage is always outside their clan but within the caste and the ceremony
lasts for five days and is usually done at infancy. No bride price is paid and widow remarriage is forbidden. The dead are buried in a sitting position.


Occupation and Food Habits: Traditionally made bangles and pearls, coral ornaments and salt although some are cultivators. Many today are in government service and occupy a fairly high social position. Usually non-vegetarian and drink alcohol.


Religion: They are Hindus and specially worship Gauri (Shiva's wife). Jangams serve as their priests, who are usually Lingayats. They celebrate Hindu festivals like Dussera, Diwali, etc.



Source: JoshuaProject.Net


  • Research Workers Meeting, 6 - 8 June 2016, Delhi

  • Church Planters Meeting, 8 – 11 June 2016, Delhi

  • National Leadership Conference [NLC] & Annual General Body Meeting [AGM], 26 - 28 July 2016, IMA Vision City, Hyderabad

Contact for more details






The following are the needs of IMA: 

  • Prayer Coordinators: Missionary work needs much prayer. So IMA plans to develop a nationwide volunteer Prayer Leaders & Coordinators who will organize prayer for IMA, its member missions and the needs of India, in their homes & local areas. We welcome your involvement.

  • IMA Staff Support: 5 staff members need full financial support. Need: Rs. 18,000 per month per staff member.

  • IMA Staff Health Endowment Fund: To help IMA staff and their families in the high cost of healthcare, it has been decided to have a Health Endowment Fund with a corpus of Rs. 10 lakhs. You are requested to donate generously towards this.

  • IMA Staff Children’s Education Fund: This is to assist IMA staff to educate their children in good schools. We will appreciate your generous contribution to this fund.

  • Training & other Programmes: These need subsidies to make them affordable to missions. Sample subsidies needed are -

- 2 days event for 35 people : Rs. 50,000

- 3 days event for 35 people : Rs. 75,000

- 5 days training for 35 people : Rs. 1.2 lakhs

  • IMA Infrastructure: Some of the urgent needs are -

- Laptops, LCD projectors & IT equipment : Rs. 4 lakhs

- 4-wheeler Vehicle : Rs. 8 lakhs

- IMA Accommodation & Conference facilities upgrading : Rs. 10 lakhs

- IMA Campus Farming : Rs. 1 lakh


 For details you may write to Ms. Sharon Solomon at


  • By sending your DD/Cheque drawn in favour of India Missions Association

  • By online transfer to IMA Bank Account - Name of the Bank: ICICI Bank; Branch: S.D. Road, Secunderabad; Account No: 004801044534; IFSC code: ICIC0000048.

Please inform us by email/post after you send your contribution to help us send you a receipt.


India Missions Association, 5-47, Kundanpally Village, Keesara Mandal,
R. R. District, Hyderabad - 501301, Telangana, India.
Phone: 91-8418-202064/65/66; Email:; Website:

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For further information please feel free to contact us at