India (MNN) — The
state of Bihar in North India is home to nearly 83 million people. The name stems from the word
"monastery," and the region shares a long history with Buddhism.
Today, according to
Gospel For Asia, Bihar's population is 77 percent Hindu and 15 percent Muslim,
with ethnic religions sharing another 5 percent. Christians make up less than one percent of
the population, and because of the area's resistance to evangelism efforts, it
has become known as the "graveyard of
Bibles For the World is focusing its attention here. BFTW's Mawii Pudaite says beginning this
week, "100,000 Bibles are on their way to families in Patna in the state of
Bihar in India. The need is so great to
share the Gospel. Let us pray that the
Lord will prepare the hearts of the people to receive His Word with gladness."
Though statistics indicate that at least half of the state
is not yet evangelized, there are signs of greater openness to the Christian
faith. "People are hungry for God's
Word, even though they don't know that it's the Word of God that they are
hungry for. 85% of the people worship two million gods and goddesses. It shows that the people of India are deeply
Around 30 major Christian organizations are working in
Bihar. While the Gospel is attractive to some, to others it represents the
threat of change. In some areas of
Bihar, mission agencies have been violently confronted by people who want to
stop the spread of the Gospel.
Open Bible distribution can put those who are searching for
Christ at risk, or result in people being afraid to accept a Bible. Pudaite says, "The genius of this project
method is sending the Word of God by mail. They receive them in the privacy of
their homes, without the fear that someone might be watching them."
Once people begin to respond to the Gospel and begin to ask
questions, she says they turn to another partner who handles the
discipleship. "We are working with a
very sound organization who will do all the follow-up and all the response letters
that we will pass on to them. They are
involved in evangelism and church planting in that region."
The name of the region celebrates the dedication to the
pursuit of a faith. The roots are
deep. People are naturally searching for
What can you do? Pudaite says, you can help. "Do you know that you can reach a family with
a copy of God's Word for only $2.25? Truly, no child of God is too young or
too old, too rich or too poor to have a part in this program."