India (MNN) — Almost 25 years after the world's worst industrial disaster, the "Hiroshima of the Chemical Industry," hundreds of thousands of people still suffer.
42 tons of toxic methyl isocyanine (MIC) leaked from the Union Carbide pesticide plant in Bhopal, India on December 3, 1984. Over 500,000 people were exposed to it and 8,000-10,000 died in the first 72 hours.
Since then, over 25,000 people have died of related diseases, and many suffer from blindness, lung diseases, and cancer. Union Carbide left the region without cleaning up the chemical waste and the poisoned water.
Today, Bhopal's 1.5 million residents not only live with the environmental fallout of the tragedy, they also live with religious conflict between Hindus and Muslims. The different religions fling accusations back and forth, and spreading the Gospel is forbidden.
Nevertheless, one of Partners International's indigenous partners is making a difference in the area. Pastor Ravi of Evangelism Mission Outreach Service (EMOS) leads church-planting, micro-enterprise, and children's ministries in Bhopal.
The ministry has planted nine churches in the area, and seven other areas have shown interest in the church – among them two slums. Women benefit from EMOS's sewing groups, handicrafts, and literacy ministries.
EMOS is an indigenous church-planting movement that works to bring the gospel to the unreached peoples of India – to the poor and rich, oppressed and oppressor. Its goal is to bring both spiritual transformation and social reformation to India.