There are more than 1.3 billion people and a widespread policy of Hindutva (a political movement advocating Hindu nationalism and the establishment of a Hindu state) that could restrict or even close Christian Ministry in the country. In this critical situation, Bible League is equipping the under-resourced Church to plant churches, train Christian leaders and strengthen local churches.
In remote villages where local churches do not even exist, or where an under-resourced church desires to plant a new one, we will train and equip Church Planters to build sustainable new local churches through evangelism and discipleship. The strength of Church Planter Training is the practical training for ministry leaders, emphasising the spiritual care and health of the new church and its impact in the community. This ministry is particularly important in India at this time. In the region of Kerala, Bible League is working with more than 2,000 local churches with the aim to plant thousands more churches.
Pastor Roy is one of the bravest pastors we’ve seen. After attending Church Planter Training 4 years ago, he heard God’s calling and started planting churches in his state, Kerala. His calling is to plant churches in all Panchayath, which did not have a church at all. In the past 4 years he has started 2 churches in Panchayath and all the members are converted Christians from Hindu background. He has also started another cell group at the beginning of this year and continues to minister powerfully in this region.
Pastor Roy has experienced violent persecution because of his calling. One evening, after he had visited a new Christian family in a strong Hinduism believer’s village, he was on his way home and was blocked by a group of 10 Hindu fanatics.
They stopped him and assaulted him. They picked up a leaflet from his motorbike and asked him to read out loud the leaflet. Every time he read the word “Jesus”, they beat him with a steel rod. He had his ribs broken and back bones seriously injured. He lost consciousness and was eventually rescued and taken to hospital where he spent 6 months before being discharged.
After leaving the hospital he has gone back to his own church and continues serving God. His church offered to move him to another church in a safer area but he rejected the offer. He said “If I leave this village, they will have no pastor to help them, they will be like sheep without a shepherd. As long as God wants me to serve Him in this village, I will continue pastoring this church, I will not leave my sheep.”
“This is a hard country, but God is opening doors for the people here and we are seeing more Hindus accepting Christ,” continues Pastor Roy. Today, Pastor Roy still receives threats from various parties but he is not afraid.
He shares with us the words of God in Matthew chapter 10:28 “Don’t be afraid of people. They can kill the body, but they cannot kill the soul. The only one you should fear is God, the one who can send the body and the soul to be destroyed in hell.” Amen.
Each Church Planter is able to reach around 40 new people for Christ each year.
To supply one pastor like Roy with a Bible and the resources for Church Planter Training costs just £6.