Back to the Bible Canada has enjoyed a rich partnership with Back to the Bible India. Both organizations operate independently. But my messages are broadcast in India. As well, I have spoken at a number of pastoral conferences in that country. Furthermore, the leadership of both organizations are in regular contact. It is a rich relationship.
It is for this reason, that I have been paying attention to the pandemic in India, as well as the impact it is having on the church and on Christian ministries. It is for this reason that I write this blog requesting for Christians to be in earnest prayer for believers in India.
Before I begin a list of prayer requests, let’s be reminded of what is now occurring in that country. Back in 2020, India peaked at over 100,000 Covid Infections per day. It then went down to about 5,000 per day, and India felt that it had come to the end of the pandemic. But this year, things had changed. Two new strains of the mutated virus were found. The country now has 400,000 infections per day. That number is expected to continue to rise.
So, let’s commit ourselves to prayer for the nation, as well as prayer for our many brothers and sisters in Christ in that nation. First, because pastors are deeply involved in the lives of the suffering, many hundreds of Christian pastors have lost their lives due to the pandemic. Because Pastors had been doing so many funerals, and because so many churches are now bereft of pastoral leadership, many of the believers are organizing funerals and laypeople are leading them. Pray for those churches that now have no pastoral leadership. Pray also for the families of those pastors who have died. These are very difficult days.
Numerous children in India have now lost both of their parents and have become orphans. Indeed, there has been a sharp rise of orphans in the country. A number of Christians are coming together to discuss what can be done about these new orphans and their long-term care. Pray for Christians as they minister the mercy of Christ to these desperately needy children. Pray that the compassion of Christians will be widely felt throughout the country.
Not only are pastors dying, but so are health care professionals. Furthermore, there is a general lack of awareness regarding the disease and how it is transmitted. Folklore and superstition attend many in the country. Recently, a rumor was spread that masks with the god, “Ram” written on it will save people from the virus. Many are also arguing that the massive Hindu celebration of Kumbh Mela should be celebrated this year in August. This could become a massive spreader of the virus and result in many more deaths.
Furthermore, as has been said in the western press, there is a critical shortage of necessary medical supplies in the country. In some places, there are long lines of bodies lying in the sun awaiting cremation. The sight of this is deeply affecting the population. Pray that the hope that is presented in the gospel, and the compassion of believers ministering to the grieving will be felt. Pray also for the grief among the Christian community. God has so ordained it, that believers will not be exempted from the sufferings that others are undergoing. Given the critical shortage of Christian pastors, pray that God will raise up courageous, compassionate, and visionary leadership at this time. May God fill India with stories of the love, care, and goodwill of the Christian community.
As the pandemic carries on, systematic persecution of Christians continues. Pray for our beleaguered and yet faithful brothers and sisters in Christ!