India (MNN) — Open Doors released their 2020 World Watch List last week naming the top countries with the worst treatment of Christians. The results for India were, frankly, unsurprising.
Last year, India cracked the World Watch List’s top 10 for harsh Christian persecution. This year was no different, with the South Asian nation holding its 10th place spot.
Erik* with Mission India says they expect this oppression of Indian believers “is still going to remain a big thing.”
However, they are also seeing God change hearts, like that of a Mission India partner who had a Saul-to-Paul transformation.
“He strongly persecuted the Church. Over time though he started to meet with a church planter and over that time, God really started to soften his heart…. He became a church planter himself and has planted multiple churches!” Erik says.
“It’s been story after story where we could say, ‘That’s all God working through our partners in India.’”
For 2020, Mission India picked a new theme: ‘pressing on together.’
Erik explains, “The theme comes out of Philippians 3:14 where Paul talks about, ‘I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.’ It’s such an encouraging verse if you really think about it, but it’s also very challenging. It’s challenging us to press on together to that goal that God’s called us to.
“We really feel like God is calling us to unify as one. We may have different opinions…but we want to come together as one [and] bring not just our partners here in the US together as one, but show that we’re all together — whether in India or in the US.”
Would you join hands in 2020 with our Indian Christian brothers and sisters by supporting Mission India?
First, Erik says they could always use the prayers of faithful believers. After all, he says, “We believe that prayer is the first work of missions.”
“The second way you can get involved in Mission India is by giving of your financial resources,” Erik says. “If you go onto missionindia.org, you can see the different ways that we are partnering with Christians in India to share the Gospel through our Children’s Bible Clubs, our Church Planter Training, or Adult Literacy Classes.”
For now, please pray for the Indian Church in 2020. Ask God to bless them with unity, growth, and faithfulness in persecution.
Header photo courtesy of Mission India.