India: Church mushrooming in the thick of religion based hostility

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Churches in India expand despite a stepped up anti-Christian drive, a recent report says. It is being claimed that the Christian population in the country has reached approximately 25 to 60 million- majority of them hail from Catholic Church.

Christianity in India growing

The report includes statements from few Indian pastors one of which is Bhagwana Lal who ministers to a single-room church in Rajhasthan State. He said that every Sunday he witnesses 2,000 congregants in his church. He said that Christians were treated as outcasts from India’s caste system.

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Another Indian Christian F. Philip, President of a seminary and editor of an evangelical magazine called Christian Trends, also witnessed to the spreading of Gospel and said that it has received a warm aid that tribal people are receiving the Gospel with open hearts. He said that his seminary imparts pastoral training to pastors in order to equip them to serve around 300,000 believers across 1,600 congregations.

It has been reported that the growth of Christianity is not just limited to people hailing from low caste. Local Christian leaders said that Indians from various social backgrounds are coming to Christ. Previously in August, the Evangelical Fellowship of India claimed a sharp increase in anti-Christians violence. It was disclosed that for the first six months of 2016, there were 134 confirmed cases of anti-Christians incidents. While there were 147 reported incidents in 2014 and 177 in 2015.

A prominent scholar at an highly esteemed Christian institution, P. Singh said that in the face of growing persecution Christians must resort to relatively indirect approach when it comes to evangelizing to Indians. “Here people look at churches in a negative way — as only interested in conversions. If we go into the community directly with the gospel, then people will oppose us,” he said.