According to United Kingdom-based aid and advocacy organization, Release International, 2023 does not bode well for Christians in high persecution regions. A recent report identified Nigeria, India, and China as countries of “growing concern” for 2023. Christians in these three countries have already experienced heavy persecution, and many feel the daily pressures of being a religious minority in a region with little tolerance.
The awareness of the growing opposition to Christianity in these regions makes us more determined than ever to continue sharing the Gospel over the airwaves. 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, and the need is great. By using radio and television broadcasts to spread the Gospel in native languages all around the world, God is using the ministry to share the love of Christ, as well as encourage believers.
While Americans can enjoy relative religious freedom, which is often taken for granted, there is real and dangerous persecution for Christians around the world. Oppression is a very scary reality many Christians face every day. In areas such as Nigeria, India, and China, where Christian persecution is growing, it is imperative we work even harder to encourage brothers and sisters in Christ of the truth of the Gospel amidst these horrific conditions. We urge Christians around the world to pray that those who are suffering persecution in the name of the Lord find strength and fortitude that comes only from the Holy Spirit.
In India, Christians comprise only 2.3% of the population, while Hindus account for approximately 80%. Since 1978, The Tide ministry has been using radio broadcasts to share the Gospel throughout India, growing from a single Hindi language broadcast to include radio programs in eight regional languages. God uses our ‘boots on the ground’ in India to effectively hold discipleship activities including literature distribution, Bible correspondence courses, seekers conferences (discipleship seminars), and a radio distribution project called “Radios for India.” This combination of ministry elements has proven to be extremely effective in changing lives throughout India and planting churches where believers can be nurtured in their faith, and through which whole communities can be drawn into the Kingdom of God.
We call on all Christians to ask God to protect new believers and to open the door for fellow Christians to provide spiritual encouragement and support. We also pray that new believers are able to stand strong in their faith and that their response will be a testimony that demonstrates the love of God to those who are persecuting them. We fervently hope that this persecution does not discourage people from responding to the Gospel messages we are broadcasting in this region.