Evangelizing Indians – The Perception of Evangelical Christians towards evangelizing Indians.
Through this article, I desire for us to understand the perception of evangelical Christians towards evangelizing the Indian community. I hope to understand with you the attitudes in relation to perception that the Church has towards reaching the Indian community. Understanding the perception will help us explore better strategies to do missions but also be intentional in evangelizing unreached people groups around us.
The concept of evangelism is one that many churches have been declined to fully participate in but as well perceived the most frustrating and only done by minors.
The concept of evangelism is one that many churches have been declined to fully participate in but as well perceived the most frustrating and only done by minors. Misunderstood in many evangelical Churches in the world today, evangelism has been taken quite less seriously. Many Churches have actually under looked the magnitude of evangelism but rather attached many misconceptions to it, (Green, 1990. p. 3). It is important to note that Indians who highly subscribe to Hinduism which is the world’s third largest religion [has a diverse] influence on political, cultural, economic and religious statuses of different world organizations. (Thomson, 2014. p. 11) Reflections from the 1991 census derived from the year 2000, religion figures point out that the Republic of India which got its independence in 1947 from Britain is about 3,166,000 sq.km with a population estimate of over 1.3 Billion people, and 79% subscribing to Hinduism as their religion. The country has a diversity of racial, religious and linguistic composition of natives; fortunately, or unfortunate 2.40% of India’s population were Christians. Of the 2.40% community, 39% were Protestants, 29.2% Catholics and the remaining 31.8% were from other denominations under the category of professing Christians. (Johnstone and Mandryk, 2001. P.309) This should actually be a threat that serves to inspire us in aspiring to engage the Indian community more today.
Uganda on the other hand according to the Uganda Bureau of statistics (2016) comprises of diversity in culture, tribe, tradition and beliefs as well as religion. (p. 4) In the 2014 census, Uganda’s total population was 34.6 million persons with 1.5 million persons from Kampala city as the most densely populated. (pp. 8-9). In regards to religious affiliations, evangelicals, who are categorized as also the Pentecostals and or born again, comprise of 11.1% while others 1.4% (Hindu’s part of this) all respectively of the 80% total population of the 2014 census.(p. 19). As of the 2014 census, a total of 13,905 persons with 10.498 persons from the city were Hindu’s and part of the 1.4% to which Hindus we categorized. (p. 73) With the 83.4% professing Christians of Uganda’s total population, it is devastating to know that we live, socialize, and relate in different arenas with an un-reached or not evangelized persons amidst us and have never been provoked to engage them with the gospel.
The Indian communities who subscribe to Hinduism at most besides Islam apparently dominate Uganda’s economy and the business enterprise. The big question we need to be asking ourselves is, “how should we respond when unreached people groups come to us?”, Do we stay in our comfort zones or like John the Baptist haste to engage them with the Gospel for salvation. With the high numbers of the Indian communities in Kampala, our passion should ignite our compassion to ponder on the mandate in Mathew 28 more and more until these communities become part of why Christ called the Church. It is unfortunate but very true of Stott (2009) view that “. . . attempt to convert people to Christ is rejected as an unpardonable interference in . . . private lives.” (p. 3) These words truly depict the kind of attitude the Church has embraced when it comes to evangelization which is a negative attitude if we are to do evangelism at large.
In order to properly grasp the vision and gravity of this subject, we will use the Bible as our key authority and subject study guide, although engage with different materials on evangelism and or missions.
We need to comprehend to full capacity the Indian culture and way of life if we are to engage them as world evangelism is a mandate that cuts across all nations and tribes.
We need to comprehend to full capacity the Indian culture and way of life if we are to engage them as world evangelism is a mandate that cuts across all nations and tribes. It is significant that we collect facts from a global point of view. I believe something can be done.
Peter’s story in reaching Cornelius in Acts 10 could be one of the examples that should inspire us to cross beyond not just geographical boundaries but cultural boundaries for the sake of the gospel of Christ. Romans 10:18 “But I say, have they not heard? Yes verily, their sound went into all the earth and their words unto the ends of the world”(NKJV) and Acts 13:47, “For so has the Lord commanded us, saying, I have set thee to be a light of the Gentiles, that thou should be for salvation unto the ends of the earth.”(NKJV) The Church’s mandate goes way beyond a Sunday service but to a far as the ends of the earth with the Salvation story to be heard so that many may believe.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Lawrence and Simple serve at Matugga Bible Church, a Church plant of Lugogo Baptist Church. Lawrence has had the opportunity to serve with the administration office at LBC and on the Elders Board. He loves to spend his time with Sunday School as he teaches the Sunday School. Lawrence currently pursues his MDiv in Missions at AIU NEGST. He is also an alumni of ACEMU and interns with Pioneers East Africa.