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The Distribution of Digital Bibles More Than Doubled Across the World in 2016

SWINDON, UK, July 3, 2017 /Christian Newswire/ — For the third year running, Bible Societies have distributed more than 400 million Scripture items around the world — including more than 34 million Bibles. That’s enough for more than 5% of the world’s population. And since the beginning of the decade, the United Bible Societies fellowship (UBS) has distributed Scripture material for two out of every five people on the planet. The overall 2016 total — almost 401.4 million — includes Bibles, Testaments, Gospels and smaller Scripture items like booklets for people learning to read. It’s slightly lower than 2015’s total, but is up on the 2010 total by more than 34 million items.
Digital Scriptures
The distribution of non-print Bibles such as digital downloads, CDs, Scripture texts and DVDs has more than doubled across the world in 2016, driven by the growing demand for Bibles on our phones and devices. More than three million non-print Bibles were distributed in 2016, up from less than 1.3 million in 2015. There’s been an even sharper increase since 2010, when the Fellowship distributed less than 200,000 non-print Bibles in a year. The trend mirrors growing internet use around the world. Around 45% of the world’s population now have access to the internet, and by 2020 seven out of every 10 people on the planet will own a smartphone. We spend more time on our phones than any other media.
Top five countries for the local distribution of full Bibles in 2016
• Brazil 6,773,421
• China 3,514,286
• USA 2,981,407
• Nigeria 1,965,001
• India 1,897,995
Milestone for Brazil
At the end of 2016, Bible Society of Brazil reached the milestone of 150 million Bibles and New Testaments produced at its Bible Press since 1995. It’s one of the largest printing plants in the world primarily for the production of Scriptures. Executive Director Rudi Zimmer said, “In recent decades, more than in any other period, Brazilian churches have been involved in spreading the Word, making Brazil the largest field of Holy Scripture distribution around the world today.”
Full report
The full report, with comments on numerous countries seeing a sudden spike in Bible distribution in 2016 can be found here:
United Bible Societies:
United Bible Societies is a global network of Bible Societies working in over 200 countries and territories across the world. Together, they are the world’s biggest translator, publisher and distributor of the Bible. Bible Societies are also active in areas such as HIV/AIDS prevention, trauma healing and literacy. Bible Societies work with all Christian Churches and many international non-governmental organisations. Read more:

Guilt by Association: Business Leader Blocked in India — Founder of India-Based Technology Firm Denied Access to India Due to Christian Clients

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich., June 26, 2017 /Christian Newswire/ — India now ranks right behind Saudi Arabia on the Open Doors International “World Watchlist” as one of the worst countries in which to be a Christian — the result of a growing number of Hindu nationalists who see the Christian faith as an attempt to delegitimize Hinduism as India’s native religion. This growing anti-Christian sentiment in India is now starting to affect U.S. business relationships.
Mr. Thomas Sudyk, President and CEO of EC Group International, a Rockford, Michigan based technology business was surprised when his visa was flagged by the Consul General of India in Houston, which resulted in the denial of entrance into India last Fall (October 5, 2016). “When I arrived in Chennai, India, I was informed that the Houston Consulate had flagged my visa and I would not be permitted to enter India.” Mr. Sudyk explained. “For the past 17 years, I have frequently traveled to India to manage the affairs of EC Group Datasoft Pvt. Ltd. I have a 10-year multiple entry visa. Apparently,” he observed, “I was flagged because several of my clients are Christian organizations.”
On January 13, 2017, the national news reported that the government of India had blocked all foreign donations to Compassion International, a Christian organization focused on feeding impoverished children, despite the fact that over 44% of Indian children under five are underweight and 72% of its infants suffer from anemia, in fact, the World Bank estimates that India is now one of the highest ranking countries in the world for the number of children suffering from malnutrition. In March 2017 Compassion closed its operations in India after 48 years, informing tens of thousands of children that they will no longer receive meals, medical care or tuition payments. The Hindu-based nationalist mindset has so influenced the thinking of the current Indian government leaders, that they are overlooking the desperate needs of their malnourished Indian children to protect their Hindu religion.
This religious nationalism is affecting U.S. based Indian leaders also. For example, a cursory glance at the tweets of the Consulate General of India in Houston executive Anupam Ray, (@anupamifs) shows that one of his top priorities is the evangelization of the Hindu religion in Texas. He and some of his associates are also using their position to block the real or perceived threats of the advancement of Christianity in their homeland, including legitimate business people like Mr. Thomas Sudyk.
On June 26, 2017 President Trump will host India Prime Minister Narendra Modi to strengthen ties between the two nations. One of the primary discussion topics will be advancing trade dialogue to create jobs in both countries. Business leaders like Tom Sudyk are hoping that President Trump will be able to defuse the religious hyper-sensitivity of the government of India so that companies like EC Group can continue to build mutually beneficial business relationships.
About EC Group: In 1999, Tom Sudyk, CEO and founder of EC Group International established e-commerce operations in Chennai, India. The vision for expanding to India served two purposes. One was to provide US companies safe access to the abundant talent India had to offer. The second purpose was to establish a company that would make a difference to the people it touched. These values have created a competitive advantage by attracting and retaining some of the best talent in the industry.

Believers in India Respond to Nepal Earthquake Victims

Those Who Lived Through Previous Disasters Now Providing Prayer, Food, Clothing, Funds and Relief Workers for Others; Actions Demonstrate Strength of Church in South Asia.

KATHMANDU, Nepal, May 8, 2015 /Christian Newswire/ — Members from many GFA-supported churches in India are responding unconditionally to the disastrous April 25 earthquake in Nepal with widespread prayer, fasting, generous giving, clothing and food drives, as well as sending relief teams to help restore their neighboring country.

Photo: Gospel for Asia-supported missionaries, Believers Church pastors and Bridge of Hope staff pass out rice to earthquake victims in the Nuwakot District of Nepal. Twenty Believers Church members in the district lost their homes in the quake.

They are taking their own initiative to help bring relief there, knowing first-hand what it’s like to go through significant natural disasters in their own country.  Their actions demonstrate the strength of the Christian church in South Asia.

“Many who have personally experienced the devastation of powerful earthquakes and storms are now responding to help others,” said Dr. K.P. Yohannan, founder and international director of GFA.  “The local church, led by and composed of nationals in South Asia, is rising to the occasion by helping to meet the needs of earthquake victims.”

Among those responding are Believers Church congregations in the Uttar Pradesh region of northern India. Churches from this area have already sent truckloads of blankets, rice, flour, bread and other foods, and are collecting funds to send more.

One of the most generous responses is being organized in Delhi. After suffering through an earthquake in 2001 that killed more than 10,000, one of the leaders on the field, Dr. Simon John, said he can personally sense the sadness many Nepalese are suffering. “As soon as we heard about the earthquake, our staff individually and collectively started praying for bereaved families and working to collect relief supplies,” he said.

In the Punjab area, floods and landslides destroyed thousands of homes a year ago, with heavy rains again badly damaging wheat crops this spring. Yet field leader Pastor Martin said churches there immediately began to support victims in Nepal. “Three days after the earthquake, we had collective prayer and fasting,” Martin said. “Our churches will be continually praying for the people as we trust God to rebuild Nepal.”

Gospel for Asia-supported Believers Churches in Kolkata have contributed enough donations to set a goal of rebuilding at least 100 homes, providing rations to 200 families for two to three weeks, and providing for children’s educational needs. Members also plan to collect donations of clothing and send it when conditions in Nepal make that feasible.

Numerous churches have already been involved in fasting and prayer, such as in Bihar, which called for a three-day period of special fasting and prayer for God’s grace, peace and healing in Nepal. Church-wide observances are scheduled for May 8 in Delhi and May 12 in Udaipur.

Gospel for Asia has served the church in Nepal for more than 25 years. For decades, the ministry has also provided disaster relief throughout South Asia when tragedy strikes areas it serves, such as after the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami.

GFA supports 450 churches, 20 Bridge of Hope children centers and Bible schools in Nepal. Some were destroyed or damaged by the earthquake, Nepal’s worst in 80 years. Many church leaders and members have lost their homes or can no longer safely live in them.

Gospel for Asia ( is a mission organization sharing the love of Jesus across South Asia.

Gospel for Asia Assessing Nepal Quake Damage to Churches, Bible Schools and Children’s Centers

Churches, Bible Schools and Children’s Centers

Sends Missionary Workers from India to Assist in Disaster Recovery Efforts
Contact: Taun Cortado, Gospel for Asia, 214-673-0075,
KATHMANDU, Nepal, April 27, 2015 /Christian Newswire/ — After the worst earthquake in 80 years hit Nepal over the weekend, Gospel for Asia (GFA) immediately began assessing the quake’s impact on the people there, as well as damage to churches, Bible schools and children’s centers. It also initiated disaster response efforts for survivors in the region.
Photo: GFA Compassion Services teams are working to bring relief to the earthquake survivors, offering assistance where needed. Hi-resolution version available.
Gospel for Asia has 450 churches, 20 Bridge of Hope children centers and Bible schools in Nepal, some of which were destroyed or damaged by the quake. Many church leaders and members have lost their homes or can no longer safely live in them.
Between 30 and 40 GFA-supported missionaries serving in Uttar Pradesh, an Indian state bordering Nepal, have been sent to the region to help recovery efforts. On Monday a team of pastors, leaders and believers in Kathmandu Valley provided relief supplies, such as fresh water, noodles, sugar, rice and dal, to quake victims.
“Tragedy can strike at any time. It is our aim in times like this to help as many people as we can, both with basic physical care as well as with a heart of compassion to listen and care for them individually,” said Dr. K.P. Yohannan, founder and international director or GFA. “When we minister to the hurting in Jesus’ name, we minister unto Him.”
The death toll from Saturday’s 7.8-magnitude earthquake soared past 3,300 Monday, according to the Associated Press. How much higher it will rise depends largely on the condition of vulnerable mountain villages, which rescue workers were still struggling to reach two days after the disaster. The quake also triggered an avalanche at Mt. Everest that buried part of the base camp packed with foreign climbers preparing to make summit attempts. At least 18 people died there, and 61 were injured.
GFA has worked in Nepal for more than 25 years.   For decades, the ministry has also provided disaster relief throughout South Asia when tragedy strikes the areas it serves, such as with the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami.
“When we are on the other side of the world during times of crisis, we can feel quite helpless, but we can make a difference,” said Yohannan. “We can help through recovery organizations on the ground there, and most importantly, we can pray for those who have lost loved ones or homes or who have suffered injuries in the devastation. We can also pray for the safety, strength and grace for missionaries ministering to the suffering. “
More information about GFA’s disaster recovery efforts in Nepal can be obtained at
Gospel for Asia ( is a mission organization sharing the love of Jesus across South Asia.

Nepal Earthquake: World Vision first responders to get a first look at remote villages hit by quake

Kathmandu, NEPAL (April 25, 2015) — Today World Vision teams began coordinating aid efforts to assist those impacted by the 7.8 magnitude quake that struck Nepal, even as staff got their first look at the damage in some rural areas. This after many spent the night in tents, keeping out of damaged buildings as aftershocks continued through the night.

“My family and I slept out in the open last night in a field with our neighbors. Our street is completely blocked off with rubble. We were still feeling a lot of aftershocks, every few hours. Everyone very afraid. Some people are in shock. But as morning began in Kathmandu, we also saw people walking around to see what the damage is, to get a better idea of what happened and to gather supplies,” said Phillip Ewert, World Vision’s Operations Director in Nepal.

World Vision has sent a team to assess the damage in rural areas. They anticipate several hours journey first by vehicle, then by foot, a trek that will take more than half the day, despite a distance of just 50 miles.

In Katmandu, staffers describe roads blocked by debris and older buildings toppled. Those modern buildings that remain standing are still uninhabited, with people unsure whether the structure is safe. Few stores are open and there are limited places to get supplies.

“There is a real sense of community, people cooking for each other. But it’s also clear supplies are running out. It’s not at the panic stage yet, but it’s starting to get that way,” Ewert said.

Despite being in a highly earthquake prone region, many villages and towns in Nepal are simply not prepared for earthquakes of this magnitude, says Matt Darvas, a World Vision employee based in Nepal:

“Villages in the areas affected near the epicentre are literally perched on the sides of large mountain faces and are made from simple stone and rock construction. Many of these villages are only accessible by 4WD and then foot, with some villages hours and even entire days walks away from main roads at the best of times. It will likely be helicopter access only for these remote villages,” Darvas said.

Reports of damage are starting to come in from these areas.

“Villages like this are routinely affected by landslides and it’s not uncommon for entire villages of 200, 300, up to 1000 people to be completely ‘buried’ by rock falls. We are slowly hearing reports that this may have been the case in villages in the Kaski and Gorkha regions,” says Darvas.

“Delivery of medical assistance will also be a challenge. Health posts are often rudimentary in the village districts with limited services, and are not even always staffed by a registered doctor. Some villages rely on being able to access the health posts of surrounding villages. If they are ‘cut off’, it’s possible that entire villages are without medical assistance right now,” Darvas said.

World Vision is planning to respond in its initial phase to 50,000 people, meeting their immediate needs including providing first aid kits, sleeping mats, blankets and jerry cans; temporary shelter; and protection for children. World Vision is setting up three Child Friendly Spaces so children have a safe space to play following the trauma of the quake.

Disaster management experts from World Vision’s operations around the region – including in neighboring India and Bangladesh – are on standby to provide relief assistance to the Nepal response. Some supplies were pre-positioned in Nepal, while others will be airlifted in from Dubai.

Nepal has long ranked at the top of the list of places most vulnerable to earthquakes, according to experts. Before the earthquake, World Vision had identified Nepal as “very vulnerable” to earthquakes, and the aid agency had been implementing earthquake preparedness training for communities and workshops for schools to help reduce the risks of earthquakes. This work was done in Lalitpur and Rupandehi Districts for about 65,000 people.

– See more at:

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” (, 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 Copies of the current 2013 issue can be ordered in bulk.

Founded in 1984 in the Wesleyan tradition, The Mission Society ( 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.

Gospel for Asia Responds with Relief Efforts to Worst Natural Disaster in History of India

Early Monsoon There and in Nepal Leaves More Than 180 Dead, Thousands Stranded

CARROLLTON, Texas, June 21, 2013 /Christian Newswire/ — Floodwaters and landslides that claimed more than 180 lives and left thousands stranded in the northern mountainous Indian state of Uttarakhand and nearby areas and in Nepal after four days of torrential rainfall have spurred Gospel for Asia (GFA) relief efforts there into action.

GFA relief personnel already are providing clean water and food and meeting basic needs of those affected in the outskirts of the disaster.  They are standing by with immediate aid as soon as the government allows them to enter the worst-hit areas.

“This suffering makes our hearts ache, because we know that God loves all of us,” said K. P. Yohannan, GFA founder and president. “We must not only feel compassion, but we must also act to relieve suffering wherever we find it.”

The monsoon is being termed the worst natural disaster in India’s history, with government officials calling it a “ghastly tragedy.” Because it came earlier than usual in the season, the monsoon left the region grossly unprepared, increasing the loss of life. Houses, multi-story buildings, apartments, cars and one temple were swept away in days of gushing floodwaters that tore through towns. More than 20 bridges and dozens of roads have been washed away, leaving thousands stranded and waiting to be rescued.

More than 150 are known dead in India. Hundreds of people are unaccounted for. Bodies are still being discovered among washed-out homes. The final death toll is expected to rise.

Thousands have already been evacuated by the Indian government. The military has air-dropped supplies to those still cut off and has closed the area until the situation is less dangerous for relief personnel to enter.

There are 46 churches in the region of the worst flooding in India. In Uttarkashi, GFA’s Bridge of Hope center for children is standing, and the children and their families are reported safe. However, a pastor in Saharanpur reports the anguish of seeing many people weeping as they watched their houses wash away. With electric lines down, there is no connection with GFA personnel in the worst-hit areas.

The situation is similar in western Nepal, where at least 39 are dead, and more are missing. In Bardiya, around 2,000 houses have flooded, with GFA field reports of more than 2,000 people temporarily or permanently displaced from their homes in many villages. Authorities said more than 600 families in Khairichandanpur are at great risk of flood and in need of immediate rescue.

In Nawalparasi, Nepal, as many as 12 villages located close to the Narayani River were flooded, with 12 spurs on the dam swept away. Residents living close to the dam have urged their government to coordinate with the Indian government to initiate immediate measures to resettle them to safety.

“Pray for the rescue of the missing and the stranded and that God would restore good weather in this area,” said Yohannan. “In our Lord’s name, we must pray and respond to this situation.”

To donate to disaster relief in India and Nepal, visit  One hundred percent of all gifts will go to the projects for which they are designated.

Gospel for Asia ( is a mission organization based in Carrollton, Texas, involved in sharing the love of Jesus across South Asia.

India Missionary Released After Eight Years of False Imprisonment

Gospel for Asia-Sponsored Missionary Samuel Continued Ministering Despite Persecution

CARROLLTON, Texas, March 27, 2013 /Christian Newswire/ — After eight years of imprisonment under false accusations and numerous delays in justice proceedings, a Gospel for Asia-sponsored missionary in India has been released.

Photo: After eight years of false imprisonment in India, Gospel for Asia-supported missionary “Samuel” is surrounded by prayers of thanksgiving upon his recent release from prison. During years of unjust separation from his wife and daughter, he continued to share the gospel with inmates.

Brother Samuel was arrested in 2004 in Jharkhand, India, on charges of participating in insurgency riots that left 19 dead. Despite avowing his innocence from the beginning and having no connection with the incident, he was immediately jailed. Within prison, he continued his ministry, sharing with others the good news of God’s love.

“I was thrilled to receive the phone call informing us that our Pastor Samuel was released from prison,” said K. P. Yohannan, Gospel for Asia (GFA) founder and president. “Jesus told us we should not be surprised of such persecution when we follow him. Yet I am so relieved to know our prayers have been answered. Our brother has remained faithful to his calling and now is free again.”

Jharkhand is home to thousands of Naxalites — a Maoist rebel group. The government has been working hard to keep the peace in this state. However, after a vicious fight where 19 policemen were killed, authorities mistakenly identified Samuel as one of the Naxalite rebels responsible for the attacks.

Samuel’s incarceration dragged into years as appeals and hearings were continually delayed, separating him from his wife and young daughter left alone. During these eight years, as jailers came to trust him, they gave him permission to conduct prayer services on Sundays and Fridays within the prison. Many came to know Christ.

As early as August 2010, an Indian court ruled that all charges against him should be dropped, since evidence was insufficient to prove guilt of the crime or any association with the insurgents. However, a final hearing necessary for release was not scheduled on the court docket for many months, and then was delayed time after time.

During that period, Samuel wrote from prison: “I was totally depressed in this situation, but the Lord helped me to realize he has a special plan for me to be in the prison. The Lord is helping me to share the love of Jesus with the prisoners. Through my ministry, I see the transformation that is happening in their lives.”

The news of his release this month brought jubilation among the thousands who had prayed for him over the last eight years. During his incarceration, about 20 prisoners had come to know and follow God because of his ministry behind bars.

“What the enemy intended for evil, the Lord has used for good,” said Yohannan. “Because Brother Samuel remained faithful in spite of persecution, many in prison who would have never known of his love are now joyfully worshipping the name of Jesus.”

Gospel for Asia ( is a mission organization based in Carrollton, Texas, involved in sharing the love of Jesus across South Asia.

Mission Leader Kidnapped from Bible School in India

Gospel for Asia Issues Call to Prayer for Safe Release from Terrorists
CARROLLTON, Texas, July 28, 2012 /Christian Newswire/ — Gospel for Asia (GFA) officials have confirmed that a senior mission leader in India has been abducted by a terrorist group. On July 23, around 7 p.m., Pastor Ponnachan George was kidnapped by five armed terrorists from the Bible school campus operated by Gospel for Asia in the Karbi Anglong district of

English: topographic map of India

English: topographic map of India (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


George is reportedly being held in a forest hideout at an unknown location. Death threats have been issued by his captors with demands for an undisclosed ransom amount labeled by GFA officials as “a very large sum.”
Gospel for Asia has sent an E-mail to its supporters urgently soliciting prayer for the safe release of George. The mission agency maintains a policy of non-negotiation with terrorists for money. In similar instances, it has relied solely on prayer and fasting, reporting God bringing about miraculous releases.
“I am reminded in the midst of this critical time that the most important thing we can do is to pray,” said K. P. Yohannan, founder and president of Gospel for Asia. “As we see in Acts 12, when the Apostle Peter was imprisoned, God’s people prayed, and He answered. Will you please join us in prayer for the release of our beloved Pastor Ponnachan? Please also pray for his wife and their two teenage children, who are waiting and entreating the Lord for his safe return.”
Gospel for Asia is breaking with its usual low-profile policy for the protection of the victim in such cases as the Indian news media begins to report on George’s abduction. With concerns that the attention from national press may further endanger his life, the prayer request is made more urgently.
GFA officials continue to work with the local and central government. Yohannan has also personally sent a special communication to the Prime Minister of India asking for intervention.
George oversees the ministry in the Karbi Anglong region of India, which includes 26 Bridge of Hope centers educating children, three radio broadcasts in the Karbi, Assamese and Kuki languages, a Bible college, more than 200 well-established churches and about 300 missionaries.
Gospel for Asia ( is a non-profit charitable organization dedicated to serving the needy in word and deed to demonstrate the love of Jesus in developing countries in Asia. GFA-supported national missionaries are seeing incredible fruit in the lives of people to whom they are proclaiming the Love of Jesus Christ. Although they often risk persecution, these missionaries boldly carry on, counting it a privilege to suffer for Christ. Gospel for Asia has 67 Bible colleges throughout South Asia, where thousands of men and women are studying God’s Word and undergoing intensive training in preparation for ministry. Most of the Bible college graduates will go on to minister in areas where the love of Christ has never been proclaimed.

Mother India — Real Life Version of ‘Slumdog Millionaire’ Narrated by Rebecca St. James

Rebecca St. James

Rebecca St. James (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

COSTA MESA, Calif., May 4, 2012 /Christian Newswire/ — While millions of Americans have watched a fictionalized version of ‘slumdogs’ living in poverty, few know the true reality of living as an abandoned and orphaned child on the streets of India.

Narrated by Grammy Award winner Rebecca St. James, “Mother India: Life Through the Eyes of the Orphan” is a compelling documentary following the adventure of 25 courageous orphans living as a family along the railway as they make pivotal decisions that will directly impact their future.

Filmed in January 2012 in southern India with a small production team, the documentary is the work of first-time filmmakers David Trotter and Shawn Scheinoha, both based in Orange County, California.

“India is growing in both population and industry, but few people know that there are over 31 million orphans in the nation,” commented David Trotter, executive producer of Mother India. “Each of these young lives is much more than a statistic. Every one of them has a name, a face, and a story.”

“The bottom line is that statistics go in one ear and out the other,” said Scheinoha. “People need to hear stories and see the reality of what it looks like for millions of Indian children who are orphaned. We’re not out to just tell a tragic story. We’re focused on raising awareness and changing lives.”

According to UNICEF, there are over 31 million orphans living in India, and the issue is more fragmented than simply helping a child who has lost both parents. According to producers, the stories of the children profiled in Mother India reveal the complexity of the issue and the multi-faceted approach needed to give each child the opportunity to grow up and reach their full potential.

“We were blown away by how courageous these children are and to what extent they’ll go to in order to help one another survive,” said Trotter. “When you look into the eyes of two siblings — three and seven years old — who boarded a train to escape the abuse of their alcoholic parents, you start to realize that India needs our help to deal with this global issue.”

As the documentary is being finalized for a Fall 2012 premiere, two advance screenings will be hosted in Orange County, California. Suresh Kumar, president of Harvest India, will participate in a Q&A session with both filmmakers at each advance screening.

  • Wednesday, June 6th – 7pm – hosted at RockHarbor Church (345 Fischer Avenue, Costa Mesa)
  • Friday, June 8th – 7pm – hosted at Newport Mesa Church (2599 Newport Blvd., Costa Mesa)

For more information and free tickets to the advance screenings of Mother India: Life Through the Eyes of the Orphan, visit