India (MNN) — Christians and other minorities are celebrating a landslide victory in national elections in India. The five-phase election, which took nearly a month to complete, indicates the Congress Party won resoundingly. The Congress Party supports a secular government and freedom for all, including minorities.
According to reports, the Congress party won 262 seats in Parliament, up from the 190 seats they had in the previous elections. They started talks on forming a new government which will likely keep Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in power. This is a huge blow to nationalist groups like the BJP and other hard-line groups that would like Hinduism to be the national religion.
President of Serve India Ministries Ebenezer Samuel is pleased by the results. "Hundreds of thousands of people across India and the world have been praying. We are so grateful to God for answering our prayers. This will definitely benefit the growth of Christianity in the next five years."
However, that doesn't mean that persecution against Christians will end. Samuel says sometimes it means more persecution, which has been witnessed since the Congress party took over in the last election. "Anything that happens can be blamed on the government, while they continue to perpetrate all kinds of cruelty against the minority."
That's what happened in the recent violence in Orissa State, where dozens of Christians were killed and thousands were forced to leave their homes.
However, despite this violence, Serve India has seen exceptional growth. Samuel says, "We had 300 pastors in December. But now we have 430 pastors. And some of them are in the state where a lot of persecution is going on."
Samuel believes the historic amount of persecution had something to do with that growth. "Whenever there is persecution, the church always grows. And more people come forward with greater determination to serve the Lord. The growth that we've seen at Serve India Ministries bears witness to that."
Serve India has added 130 more pastors in key areas of India, says Samuel. "We've been able to get into some of the very key unreached areas. There are native Indian pastor/missionaries who are very determined to reach out into those areas."
However, these pastors need support. You can support a national pastor in India for just $35 a month. "The pastor who works with us will take the Gospel to at least five unreached villages, establishing ministries, churches and new congregations there in the next five years."
This would be a great opportunity for Sunday school classes and Bible study groups to help spread the Gospel in a challenging area of the world. Click here for details.