In three short months, COVID-19 turned the entire world upside-down. See our full coronavirus coverage here. Now, all eyes are on India as infections rise in the world’s second-most populated nation.
Keeping the virus contained with 1.3+ billion people and a failed healthcare system is challenging, to say the least, but efforts are underway. Last week, Prime Minister Narendra Modi started a three-week national lockdown, but it could be too little, too late.
“Travel from one state to the next is prohibited; all transportation has been shut down. People are filled with all kinds of anxiety,” says Todd Van Ek of Grand Rapids, Michigan-based Mission India.
And yet, hope remains.
“God is still at work and creating great opportunities to share the name of Jesus Christ with others.”
Of storm clouds and silver linings
Typically, India is one of the world’s most difficult places to be a Christian. More about that here. Religious radicals and government oppression challenge Gospel growth. However, “persecution has radically decreased because people are so consumed with the coronavirus,” Van Ek says.
In fact, “Parliament was going to meet and consider a national anti-conversion law, but then they shut Parliament down so it didn’t even come up for discussion,” he adds. “So, we see a lot of positive even in the midst of all the problems that come with COVID-19.”
As described here, the nationwide “shelter-in-place” order ended Mission India’s typical ministry activities. However, “we’re still doing ministry; just the way we’re doing it has changed,” Van Ek explains.
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SOURCE: Mission Network News, Katey Hearth
CALL TO ACTION
- Ask the Lord to give all world leaders, including Prime Minister Modi, wisdom as they make decisions during this critical time.
- Pray God will use believers throughout India to proclaim His Gospel in word and deed.
- Pray the Lord will have mercy upon those living in slums and other difficult conditions.