Christianity Spreading at Remarkable Rate Among Middle, Upper Castes and Youth in Emerging ‘New India’
Current Issue of ‘Unfinished’ Magazine Reveals Cultural, Social, Economic Shifts Defining Today’s India and its Missional Challenges
NORCROSS, Ga., Nov. 14, 2013 /Christian Newswire/ — Christianity in India is growing at a rapid rate among middle and high caste Indians and young people, according to the latest issue of “Unfinished” magazine, which examines social, economic and cultural trends in the “new India.”
The current “remarkable receptivity to Christ” across the entire spectrum of Indian society, which had been traditionally among only lower castes and marginalized communities, is one of five dominant themes identified by Indian anthropologist Prabhu Singh that define today’s India and its missional challenges. In his article “Welcome to the New India” in the current issue of “Unfinished” (www.themissionsociety.org/learn/multimedia/unfinished), Singh also explores new eras of “glocal” complex connectivity, heightened cultural sensitivity, alarming religious animosity and widening economic disparity.
“With more than 71 million claiming Christianity, India is now the eighth largest Christian nation in the world,” said Dick McClain, president and CEO of The Mission Society, publisher of “Unfinished.” “Yet with 456 languages and more than 2,611 distinct people groups, India still has more people groups unreached with the gospel than any other nation — 88 percent of its population.”
Considered the most ethnically diverse country on the planet, the “new India” is experiencing rapid change, diversity and complexity. According to Singh’s identification of the five top trends, with great receptivity to Christianity also comes alarming religious animosity, resulting in persecution and violent resistance to Christianity. With greater “glocal” (both global and local) complex connectivity come both new economic opportunities and widening economic disparity between the newly wealthy and members of the lowest castes who cannot rise above their status.
Multiple articles in “Falling in Love with India,” the latest issue of “Unfinished,” offer insights on how these trends in the emerging “new India” require changes in missiology. “Glocal” complex connectivity has led to focus on urban missions, a shift from solely rural and tribal, the growing middle class and youth.
India’s Christian history has come full circle from colonialism, in which the West jumped in to “help India’s poor,” to the “new India” that sends out thousands of its own missionaries and is home to hundreds of self-supporting ministries. “Give Us Friends” in the fall issue encourages American Christians to reexamine their relationship with brothers and sisters around the world as equals in God’s kingdom work and to share in partnership.
The issue also examines how to pray for the “new India,” sensing God’s call to serve in India, “20 Things that Might Surprise You about India,” and statistical trends, including demographics on religion, hunger and suicide, and the rise of social media.
The Mission Society’s award-winning quarterly magazine “Unfinished” informs and inspires readers about worldwide mission trends and issues. Free subscriptions can be obtained at www.themissionsociety.org/go/subscribetouf. Copies of the current 2013 issue can be ordered in bulk.
Founded in 1984 in the Wesleyan tradition, The Mission Society (www.themissionsociety.org) exists to mobilize and deploy the body of Christ globally to join Jesus in his mission, especially among the least-reached peoples. The Mission Society recruits, trains and sends Christian missionaries to minister around the world. Its church ministry department provides seminars, workshops and mentoring for congregations in the United States and abroad, helping equip churches for outreach in their communities and worldwide. At present, The Mission Society has more than 225 missionaries serving in more than 37 countries.
- Prayer vigil against religious discrimination in India (christiantoday.com)
- Explaining India’s Poverty and Slavery: A Neglected Narrative (foreignpolicyjournal.com)
- CNN mixes fact with fiction, insults India (niticentral.com)
- Upper-caste India’s debt to Ambedkar (3quarksdaily.com)