Despite persecution, churches are being planted

By January 8, 2010

India (MNN) — India continues to be a place where Christians face incredible amounts of oppression. We hear stories of pastors being threatened, beaten, attacked and even forced from their villages. However, India Gospel League is seeing many people turn to Christ despite the violence.

Executive Director of India Gospel League Dr. David Rice says church growth has been phenomenal. "As we roll into 2010, all over India we're actually seeing about 700 new churches being planted every single month."

IGL has been in existence since 1992. Dr. Rice describes their church-planting strategy. "This really isn't about strategy. This isn't about personalities. This is one of those incredible times when God decides to do something that we can't explain."

While church planting is the key pillar of their ministry — coupled with evangelism, Rice says as they move into a village, it can't stop there. "Often we encounter tremendous challenges physically and materially — clean water, adequate housing, adequate restroom facilities, and drainage issues."

Helping with these needs allows them to reach out to the whole person. "James 2 says, 'If you come to Me and say, 'Be warm, be blessed. God bless you,' and walk away without meeting my needs, James says what good is that?"

India Gospel League also provides orphan care. "We have about 8,500 orphaned children that are under our care and a number of orphanages around India," says Rice.

IGL also provides medical care at a hospital, nursing school and community college.

While persecution is happening, Rice says God has been gracious. "We've not had any of our pastors in India actually killed. But many of them have been beaten. Many of them have been persecuted for their faith. In the face of that persecution, the church seems to be fueled by that."

While pastors are facing oppression, so are new believers. Rice says, "They're ostracized from family. They're ostracized often times from their community."

India Gospel League needs your support to help support 1,000 church planters in 2010. $100 a month supports a church planter who will head to area totally unreached with the Gospel.


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