The church in India has a rich and very long history, same say dating back to the Apostle Thomas. In fact, India is where the era of modern missionary effort began nearly two-hundred years ago with the arrival of William Carey, called by many the father of modern missions. But historically, most of the growth of the Indian church has been concentrated in the sourthern and north-eastern parts of the country. While the church there is alive and well, pastors and missionaries both within and without India have long noticed the special needs and strategic importance of the northern part of the country -- an area often called "the North India-Hindi Belt."
This area stretches across north and central India and covers nine states: Bihar, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Predesh, Delhi, Jammu Kashmir, Punjab, Himachel Pradesh and Haryana. Why is this area so important?
But there are other, more pressing evidences of the importance of this region.
As you observe closely, you cannot help but notice this heavy concentration of need in the North India region, no matter which 10/40 Window criteria is used -- depth of poverty, percentage of literacy, total unreached population, presence of spiritual strongholds. If the 10/40 Window defines the core of the unfinished task in world evangelization (that area of the world where most of the need is concentrated) and the Joshua Project 2000 list of unreached peoples represents the core of the core (those particular people groups primarily found within that area in most need of church-planting efforts), then the North India-Hindi Belt would be the core of the core of the core -- that area and those people groups where the most desparate needs converge. Like a laser beam, the Spirit of God has been drawing us into a tighter and tighter focus on the areas critical to the completion of the task of world evangelization. Without supernatural intervention and significant mobilization in this particular part of the world, the goal of a church for every people and the gospel for every person by the year 2000 will not be reached. The North India- Hindi Belt is absolutely critical to that plan.
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