Surge in Requests for Gospel Literature Surprises Christian Workers in Persecution-Heavy India
The Tide® Radio Ministry Reaches Spiritually Thirsty People with Living Water, Gospel Message
July 27, 2020
Chambersburg, Pa.—An influx of requests from listeners in Odisha, India, is leaving workers at The Tide® (www.thetide.org) global radio ministry feeling surprised—and emboldened.
The Tide ministry sends gospel-centered, life-transforming literature to people in India and neighboring countries who want to learn more about Jesus. In the first half of 2020, workers received a surge of requests for literature about biblical Christianity from the state of Odisha—a phenomenon.
“In a country where there are huge numbers of people living in poverty, you might expect to receive numerous requests for assistance with things like food, clothing, and shelter, but the responses we receive from listeners in India rarely include such requests,” said Don Shenk, director of The Tide ministry. “Instead, listeners overwhelmingly ask for spiritual guidance. Fortunately, that is a need we can meet through correspondence and Christian literature in their own language to help them find true hope in Christ, who offers eternal living water for dry, thirsty souls.”
In the first few months of 2020, The Tide ministry sent out more than 1,700 literature packets to believers in the process of discipleship and listeners wanting to know more about Jesus. These packets include gospel tracts, discipleship booklets, and scripture portions. All of these resources give unbelievers an opportunity to learn about Jesus Christ and how they can live for him. For the persecuted Christian, these resources mean sustained hope and a stronger faith to fight against the fear and temptations surrounding life in a hostile country.
Ranked tenth on the Open Doors World Watch List for persecuted Christians, India is one of the most hostile countries in the world for those who profess Christ.
“Religious affiliation is included in the identity of Indian citizens,” Shenk said. “New believers in Odisha not only have to go through the red tape of applying to the local magistrate to change their registered religion, but also risk persecution from family and community in this state, which some view as the Hindu homeland of India. It’s heartbreaking to imagine that the simple ritual of baptism to celebrate a life-giving relationship with Christ can actually be a life-threatening act for those who choose to convert.”
In Odisha, the first state in India to pass anti-conversion laws, choosing to follow Christ means harassment, threats, and sometimes even death. Despite this danger, the people of Odisha are listening to The Tide ministry’s radio programs and reaching out to the ministry like never before.
After learning about Jesus from The Tide ministry’s radio program, listener Dillip wrote, “I have come to know that Jesus Christ is the Savior of the world. Pray for me and please send me some of your literature.”
For nearly 75 years, The Tide ministry has recorded and broadcasted Gospel programming in nine countries on three continents in 27 heart languages spoken by millions of people in multiple regions of Albania, Bhutan, India, Kosovo, Nepal, Nigeria, Pakistan, Thailand and Zimbabwe. With more than 7,000 languages spoken worldwide and more than 2,000 people groups that have been unreached by the Good News of Jesus, the opportunities are tremendous.
For more information about The Tide broadcast projects, history, radio programs around the world, special yearlong campaigns, the weekly Global Update radio features or other news, visit its website at www.thetide.org or its Facebook page. Read more about The Tide ministry and Director Don Shenk here.
To schedule interviews with Don Shenk, director of The Tide global radio ministry, contact Media@HamiltonStrategies.com, Jeff Tolson, 610.584.1096, ext. 108, or ext. 102.