Official Country Name:Republic of India
Government:Federal parliamentary constitutional republic
Official Languages:Hindi, English
Religious Demographics:Hindu ± 74%, Muslim ±14%, Christian ±3%, Evangelical ±2%, Sikh ±2%, Ethnoreligionist ±1%, Other 4%
Number of Evangelicals
A Booming and Diverse Church
India is considered the world's largest democracy and is expected to overtake China for the world's most populous nation in 2028 Source: BBC News- India Economy to Surpass China. It is also the most ethnically diverse nation on Earth, with more than 20 official languages and over 5 major religions represented. In 1947, after gaining independence from Britain, India split into two nations. As a result, the Hindu-majority India and the Muslim-majority Pakistan were created.
Currently, India is home to 26 million evangelical Christians, ranking as the world's 5th largest evangelical church; however, Christians in India still face many challenges. For example, the Hindu nationalists that have control of the government often target religious minorities such as Christians and Muslims. Increasing governmental regulations have made it more difficult for foreign missionaries to get long term visas. Source: India Religious Travel Restrictions
Since emerging from the COVID-19 lock down in June of 2020, the Indian church has been experiencing increased persecution from Hindu nationalist groups. In retaliation for Christians leading Hindus to the gospel, many Indian churches and pastors have been victims of arsonry attacks and extreme physical brutality. Hindu nationalist groups are encouraging police brutality against Christians by spreading the idea that Christians are infected with COVID-19 and will spread the virus if allowed to meet and socialize in the community. Source: Persecution in India increased Post Covid The Indian church has been blessed to withstand the rise of persecution within the community and country by acting out the call in Matthew 5 to be peacemakers.
India currently has access to more than a billion unreached people within its own borders or roughly 40% of all unreached people worldwide. The Indian church has already begun to mobilize itself and sends about 71,000 missionaries, although it is unclear how many go to the unreached. With such a large population of believers and some cultural similarities between India and their UPG neighbors, the Indian church has a huge opportunity to be mobilized to the unreached.