Persecution against Christians in India is bringing out the best in believers

By October 27, 2003

India (MNN) — Anti-conversion legislation, beatings, killings and more. These are all things Christians are facing in India, simply for believing in Jesus Christ. While it’s a scary time for believers, it’s not incapacitating the spread of the Gospel.

Doctor Bobby Gupta with HBI Global Partners says when persecution comes Christians are at their best. Gupta explains. “We’re seeing the church respond to persecution (by saying), ‘if they’re getting on our case we need to give our lives even more to Jesus Christ so that God can do greater things.’ Because, unlike any other time in the history of missions in India, people are more responsive to the Gospel, more churches are being planted, young people are giving their lives and wanting to do more for the Lord.”

Gupta says India reportedly has some 350,000 churches in a country of over 1-billion people. 250,000 of them were planted in the last 15 years. He expects that number to grow. However, Gupta says that’s not enough. “We need to have a church is every village, town and city of our nation. We need a church for every 1,000 people. That’s over 1-million churches.”

HBI is training nationals through their Bible institute. Gupta says they’ve been doing that through their Bible institute in the state of Madras. However, they’re branching out into rural areas of India. “The large majority of India is going to have to be reached by men and women in the rural araeas of India.” Because of that, HBI is changing its focus from bringing rural believers in for training, to go to believers in rural areas.

Gupta says one need is becoming more evident. “The number one need is for us to decentralize. We’ve begun a five year process. We’ve already started four training centers. We have six more training centers that we’re looking at developing.”

Money is being raised to helpl fund the effort. The estimated cost is $150,000 for each school.

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