Christmas in India is an open door for outreach

By December 25, 2007

India (MNN) — Christians are facing incredible amounts of persecution in India. Founder and President of Gospel for Asia KP Yohannan says not a week goes by when there isn't a report of Christians being beaten up. However, Christmas in India is allowing Christians more freedom to share their faith.

Yohannan says Christmas is different in that country. "Christmas is nothing like we have in the United States, Canada or European countries. Rather, it's fairly subdued. But the neat thing is everybody knows about Christmas."

According to Yohannan, while Hindu, Buddhists and Muslims know it's a Christian holiday, they don't know why. The interesting thing is they want to know."This is one opportunity for the church at large has the permission given by the community at large almost to talk about Christ and sing carols and all these different things."

This "permission" is even extended to the government. Yohannan says, "Even the government television allows people to talk about Christ and Christmas and the meaning of Christmas. And every year I'm asked to give a message about Christmas which is aired on a lot of secular channels."

Even though it appears Christians are allowed to talk about the Christ of Christmas, it's not perfect. "I wish there was more clarity and more explanation about why He came into the world and the need for people to repent and turn to Christ for salvation and things like that," says Yohannan.

Christians use this time of year going door-to-door singing carols and the story of Christmas. Any other time of year, Hindus wouldn't necessarily listen. "This is kind of a free license to be part of a celebration which is a religious thing also, which our people make use of, which is a really neat thing to happen."

Yohannan has a couple of prayer requests this Christmas. "As people hear the Gospel through carols and music and Bible verses, pray that millions will be touched and gripped with the Gospel. Secondly, pray for our missionaries that they would be able to share the Gospel without fear and anxiety. "

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