India (MNN) — Days after an overwhelming victory at the elections, India’s Bharatiya Janata Party has the monumental task of putting together its cabinet.
Narendra Modi and the BJP swept aside the Congress party in the most decisive election victory India has seen in three decades. Tomorrow, the BJP is expected to elect Modi as its new leader, who will also become the country’s next Prime Minister.
Despite concerns brought out by groups involved with Scripture work and Bible teaching, JP Sundararajan with Audio Scripture Ministries says their teams aren’t as worried. For one thing, as Christians, they’re used to living in the minority. “The overarching principles and maybe the freedom with which some of these persecutions might happen might be increased a little bit, but since we’ve always lived in a state of tension, we carry on with that.”
He adds that it doesn’t hurt their relationship with ASM is through World Cassette Outreach of India…a ministry that is Indian for India. “Because we have, at WCOI in India, done things as prescribed by the government, we are a registered society. We really do not see a major threat, at least immediately, when the new government comes to power.
However, Sundararajan notes that India is in the midst of rapid socio-economic change. The BJP ran on a platform of development and change–a message that spoke to the electorate that brought them into office. “The young Indians look at the Congress as kind of an impotent government agency. They haven’t really helped the economy out, and the country itself has kind of stagnated, as far as economic growth.”
About 13 million young people are entering the job market each year, but not enough jobs are being created in a stagnating economy. Prices of food have spiraled, as has unemployment. People are looking for hope…and that actually positions groups like ASM and WCOI well to address spiritual needs.
Sundararajan recaps the situation this way: “The BJP has been in power before, in India. Our ministry continued to grow in spite of it. The way we look at it is no matter who God puts in charge of us, we honor them, we respect them, and we’re going to keep doing what we’re doing.”
Sundararajan says persecution and harassment exists, but how severe it is varies across the vast country. It boils down to how the local government and local officials interpret and enforce laws. “We might have to adapt our strategies a little bit to be careful in how we do ministry, but that doesn’t change what we do.”
In fact, WCOI is finishing up a huge rebuilding project. After decades of annual flooding, coupled with growth, the ministry decided it needed to build the right platform from which to launch into the 21st century.
Unable to find the right parcel of land, they gave up the search and decided to renovate over the existing building, dismantling the crumbling structure as they went. Sundararajan describes it as bedlam, and yet, “Last year, in spite of all the chaos, we had the most successful year as far as distribution of audio Bibles goes. So now that the chaos is gone, we’re expecting even more good things to happen. I think along with the good that we expect, we also expect opposition to rise, as well.”
A new day in India? It might be just another day in a year of constant flux. Sundararajan says to help them be ready, “I would encourage your listeners to pray for us constantly. Prayer is an amazing tool to combat any forces that oppose us.”
If you want more details on what WCOI does, click here.