India is the home of one of the world's oldest civilizations, one which flourished as early as the 3rd and 2nd millenia B.C. In modern times it received its independence from Great Britain in 1947 through non-violent resistance led by Mohandas Gandhi. Nevertheless, local violence led to the creation of two states, India and Pakistan. In 1971, a new nation, Bangladesh, was created as a result of war between these two nations.
Some major cities include Mumbai (Bombay), Calcutta, Chennai (Madras), Delhi, and Bangalore. Approximately 81% of India's population is Hindu, 13% Muslim, and the remainder a mixture of Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists and Jains. (Source: Encarta Encyclopedia)
The majority of those baptized into Christ in India come from a Hindu (polytheistic) background.
Population: 1.2 billion, after the People's Republic of China, the most populous nation on earth, with only one doctor per 1670 persons and a GDP (gross domestic product) of US $3,500 per head as compared with a US figure of $47,200 per head, making the average American 13.5x as wealthy as the average Indian. (Source: CIA World Factbook, 2010)
Since the early 1990's various efforts such as industrial deregulation and privatization of state-owned enterprises have propelled India's rapid economic development, which has averaged 7% for the past 15 years. Slightly more than half of India's work force is in agriculture but services are the major source of growth for its diverse economy. Nevertheless, India has the world's largest number of poor and the greatest disparity between rich and poor.
Despite India's rise there is much need for prayer for its social and environmental challenges. Malnutrition affects 40% of the population; national infrastructure is inadequate; use of child labor is widespread, AIDS is spreading rapidly. Environmental struggles include air pollution produced by industrial effluents and vehicle emissions, water pollution from raw sewage and runoff of agricultural pesticides, deforestation, soil erosion, overgrazing.
Please take a moment today to pray for the nation of India.
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