India: Persecution Only Whets our Growth

( [email protected] ) Oct 26, 2003 10:57 PM EST

India -- Despite the anti-conversion legislation, beatings and killings meant to curb the growth of Christians in India, the faithful continue to increase in number.

"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,” said HBI Global Partners’ Bobby Gupta.

Currently, there are 350,000 churches in the nation of 1 billion populace; 250,000 of which were planted in the last 15 years.

Despite the persecution, Gupta says the believers must go fearlessly to branch out into rural areas.

"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,” said Gupta. “The large majority of India is going to have to be reached by men and women in the rural araeas of India."

Therefore, according to Gupta, there needs to be a decentralization of the ministry.

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