Madhya Pradesh was one of the last states to open up for missions. It is strongly Hindu, with strict laws that limit conversions to Christianity. Madhya Pradesh has many large tribal peoples, and more tribal groups than anywhere else in the world. Most practise a version of animism that was influenced by Hinduism. Many practise witchcraft, Shaktism (worship of female energy), and Saivism (worship of the god Shiva). Christians planted thousands of new churches in 20 years. Praise God for house church movements among some of the tribes. The whole state needs pioneer mission work. Pray for open doors for the gospel!
- Manipur has been constantly disrupted in recent decades by several separatist insurgency movements, all with different and often competing agendas. They usually target non-indigenous peoples as well as Christians, both being easy scapegoats. This violence has claimed over 1,000 lives, has stymied access to and ministry in Manipur and has hindered development of the region. Pray that those taking up arms for their many causes would instead find peace and unity in Christ.
- Many problems apart from separatism beset Manipur. Unemployment is over 30%, and the only "good" employment is in government jobs, which are bought through bribes. There is almost zero private investment, and immigrant peoples dominate what little economy there is. Manipur's proximity to the Golden Triangle exposes it to high occurrences of human and drug trafficking and to HIV/AIDS. There is much corruption, little infrastructure and poor leadership. Pray for hope to come to Manipur, ideally through the loving ministry of Christians and through social and economic transformation that the gospel can bring.
- Nearly all the Naga, Kuki and Chin peoples became Christian in the 20th Century. Baptists (21 denominations) and Presbyterians predominate, along with Catholics and increasingly Pentecostals. Nominalism is widespread, and sadly, intertribal warfare (especially Naga-Kuki, Kuki-Zomi) has plagued the state for decades. These ethnic conflicts severely compromise witness and hamper outreach by Christians to Muslims and Hindus. Pray for full reconciliation, ethnic harmony and humble, sanctified cooperation among all who claim to follow Christ. Hundreds of Manipur missionaries serve cross-culturally today.
- Meghalaya is a Christian-majority state; most of the tribals who make up the majority became Christian in the 19th and early 20th Centuries. Churches are numerous – Khasi Presbyterians, Garo Baptists and many growing Catholic and charismatic congregations. Traditionalism has been a problem, but in the 21st Century, revivals and renewal are breathing new life and dynamism into many, many churches. Pray that this move of the Holy Spirit might spread, deepen and have a lasting impact on the lives and lifestyles of Christians. Pray also for unity among churches.
- Mizoram has one of the largest Christian populations by proportion of any state in the world. Most Christians are Presbyterian, Pentecostal or Baptist, but there are now over 100 denominations and groups. Awakenings and revivals in recent years have dynamized the Church and helped transform society. Mizoram remains one of the most literate, well-educated and egalitarian states in India. Mizo missionaries in India and beyond number over 2,300 – one of the highest sending statistics in the world.
- Divisions within denominations and inter-ethnic tensions are a discredit to the unity expected of believers. Pray for a new outpouring of the Spirit that will join believers together and remove man-made divisions.
- Nagaland is unique, with the highest percentage of Baptists of any state in the world (between 65% and 80%). Revivals in 1956, 1966 and 1972 brought new life, fervour and a surge of evangelistic and missions outreach, and thousands of Nagas have served the Lord in other parts of India and beyond. Praise God for what He has already done among the 20 Naga tribes.
- Tribal feuds, with each other and against other groups, as well as the long fight for Naga independence reveal that many have been Christianized without being truly changed. The Naga insurgency has been the main catalyst for most of NE India's other independence-related conflicts. Pray that a spirit of reconciliation and forgiveness might replace the politics of hate and violence that have kept the Nagas oppressed for many years.
- Christian training and sending - few Christian areas in the world have such a high density of theological colleges; there are at least 19. Pray for more students who will become effective pastors, social workers, church planters and missionaries. A vision exists to see 10,000 Naga missionaries sent out from this most Christian state in India.
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Content taken or adapted from Operation World, 7th Edition (2010) and Pray for the World (2015). Both books are published by InterVarsity Press. All rights reserved.