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India

Welcome to India, a stunning land stretching from the snowy peaks of the ancient Himalayas to Cape Comoran jutting into the sea. Though some may associate India with the major religions of Hinduism or Islam, Christians have enjoyed a long and rich history on the Indian subcontinent. Today the Christian church in India is finding creative ways to meet the physical and spiritual needs of others.

"Nothing can fully prepare you for India, but perhaps the one thing that best encapsulates this extraordinary country is its ability to inspire, frustrate, thrill and confuse all at once." —Lonely Planet India, 2005

Access: India on Vimeo.

Who We Are

SIM India is a multicultural association of people from various countries who live and work in India, and who share a common conviction that God loves the people of India and offers them the opportunity, in Christ, of a transformed and eternal life with Him. We ourselves are in a process of transformation and invite others to join with us.

Our Team's Vision

We want to see reproducing communities of disciples in India who are:

  • Passionate about worshipping God
  • Being transformed by the Word of God
  • Fulfilling the Lord Jesus’ Gospel mandate
  • Impacting all sections of society

 

Ministry Profile

By God’s empowering and guiding grace, and together with our Indian Partners, we will work towards seeing vision realised, through the following areas of ministry focus:

  • Developing Leaders who will disciple the Church.
  • Ministering to Human Need through Community Health, development and other initiatives - reaching out to vulnerable at-risk groups of people.
  • Witness and discipleship initiatives with Youth and Children.
  • Witness to people-groups who have had little or no opportunity to hear of the love of Christ.

Where We Are Focused

Our focus is mainly in the North (along the highly populous Gangetic river basin) however we do some specific partnerships in the South.

Country Context

India is on its way to becoming the most populous nation in the world with over a billion people crowded on 2.4% of earth’s land. More than 12% are Muslims. At the same time, about 80% are Hindu, embracing 330 million gods and goddesses. In this nation of religious pluralism, no official state religion is proclaimed - India has been careful to preserve freedom of religion in its constitution. Christians constitute about 2.3% of the population according to the 2001 Census, although they comprise a much smaller minority in the highly populous and diverse Northern regions.

Due to it’s very large and growing economy, India has been gaining increased recognition on the world stage. However the disparity between rich and poor is marked, with more than 40% living below the poverty line – one third of the entire world’s poor live in India according to World Bank estimates.

There are 18 officially recognized languages, and 1,500 unofficial dialects.

Christianity in India

The apostle Thomas is said to have set foot in Kerala, South India, in 52 AD. Orthodox Christianity was well established in the south by the year 200 AD. By 345 AD, over 500 Christian communities thrived in South India.

Vasco da Gama's visit to India led to the start of Roman Catholic work in the 16th Century. Today the Roman Catholic Church is the largest Christian church in India with over 8,500,000 adherents.

Protestant missions began with the arrival of Danish-Halle Lutherans in South India in 1706. The Baptist Missionary Society's first missionary, William Carey, arrived in 1793, and established work at Sarempore. This marked the beginning of the modern era of Protestant missions in the world.

Since Independence in 1947, and due to government policy, the number of foreign Christian workers in India has decreased rapidly. On the other hand, the number of national Christian workers and independent indigenous churches has increased tremendously, and it is exciting to see what God is doing through the Indian Christian movement.

SIM, resulting from the merger of several other missions, commenced work in Ceylon and Pune (then spelled Poona) in 1893. Today SIM works in several areas in the North, with some ministry focus also in the South.

Having awakened to the reality of India as a creative-access nation, SIM has seen a significant increase of new field workers in recent years, including a number from two-thirds world countries. SIMers in North India are developing new partnerships with Indian Christian agencies and churches, with a strong focus on assisting their outreach to the many large and diverse people groups within this region.

We praise God for all He is doing and will do in India. If you would like to be a part of our ministry partnership work in India, please contact your nearest SIM office. There are many opportunities for praying, financially contributing to a variety of worthy ministries, or serving here in this great nation.

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