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India is one of the most populous, in fact, the second largest country in the world. The present population is estimated at little over one billion. This is about 16% of the total world population. This is the seventh largest in area. India occupies a strategic position in Asia. 200 independent and sovereign nations of the world can be accommodated within the Indian landscape. India and Bharath are the names officially used to refer this country. India has a rich tradition dating as far back as 4000 to 3000 B.C. From Mohanjadharo and Harappa in the north and the Dravidians civilization in the south has fascinated the historians. Around 1500 B.C. the indus valley civilization vanished from the face of the earth. India was one of the 127 provinces of the country ruled over by king Ahasuerus and queen Esther. This was about five centuries before Christ.

India has a well-defined social structure, family life, religious life, language and literature. It was a model for the rest of the world. The history of India indicates that it has been attacked right from the early years because of the riches, natural resources, forest, etc. During the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, it was colonized by the Europeans, mainly the British. As a matter of fact, it was the English men who had unified and brought India under one entity.

Even as early as the first century (52 A.D) one of the apostles of the Lord, Thomas came to India to preach the gospel. He settled at the southern tip of the peninsular India and propagated the faith. Starting from Calicut in today’s Kerala state, he moved along the coast towards Mylapore. Mylapore is a part of today’s Chennai. Thomas lived in Chennai for a long time and died as a martyr. The blood he shed in India caused the gospel to spread very fast. Historians estimate that nearly 0.3 million Christians were there in Mylapore area at the time of his martyrdom.

Subsequently Christian preachers from Syria came to India and continued to nourish the churches established by Thomas in southern peninsular India. The descendents of those early Christians are still in Kerala, known as Syrian Christians, Syro-malankara Christians and Jacobites. There was not much information between 400 A.D. till 1600 A.D. During the 16th century and later, Christian missionaries from Europe, mainly from Portugal, France, Spain, Holland, England and Ireland came to preach the gospel. William Carrey, Segan Palk, Caldwell and scores of others came to India. St.Francis Xavier of the Roman Catholic church also preached the gospel in India, Ceylon, Burma and other countries.

Though India is one country now, it consists of several ethnic groups, religious beliefs, and linguistic groups. Before attaining independence from the British in 1947, it was estimated that there were more than 560 kingdoms both major ones like Trivancore- Cochin, Mysore, Jaipur, Hyderabad, Patiala etc. and very small kingdoms such as jamindaris in the south. One finds a variety of ethnic groups thrown together, now integrated into the word ‘Indians.’ No wonder we find strife, conflicts, caste wars, linguistic upheavals or such other forms of civil commotion in India every now and then.

The predominant group today is the Hindu group. It is estimated that about 80% of the total population are categorized into this group. However this group includes tribals, Buddhists, Animists and even athiests besides several other groups which are not strictly Hindu in their concept and belief. This has naturally led to disintegration and group clashes. To facilitate the Hindutva concept, an integrating factor had to be found from the Hindutva-votaries’ point of view. The convenient one that was invented was the hate campaign, euphemistically called ‘threat to the Indian Culture.’ This was aimed at the Muslims first and the Christians later. The Hindutva goal is the same as communal cleansing of the nation and restoration of ‘Manu-dharma’ over the ruins of our democracy.

After independence India is progressing fairly well in the economic front. Its progress in literacy is very significant and compares very well with the world ratio. It has increased from 18.3% in 1951 to 52.2% in 1991. However the literacy rate vastly differ from state to state. It is as low as 38.48% in Bihar and as high as 89.81% in Kerala. However on the economic front, though it is making rapid strides, it is unfortunate that about 30% of the population is still below the poverty line. In the ‘millionaires of the world’ list recently published, half a dozen Indians figure. This indicates the vast disparity in the wealth distribution in the country. The vast majority however are the middle income group, which is the target of the major consumer good manufacturers of the world.

This country has many well- known thinkers and philosophers. Dr. S. Radha Krishnan, Sir.C.V. Raman, Dr. Abdul Kalaam, Dr. Ramanujam, Dr. Bose and several other scientists and philosophers have been acknowledged for their erudition. However this country is completely overtaken by superstitious beliefs.

All the above factors indicate that India is a country highly heterogeneous. But the spirit of being Indian is the binding factor which has totally integrated the country into one. Today displaying the ‘unity in diversity’, India portrays one entity.

What is considered above as merits of India, are unfortunately the deterrents for evangelization. The idol worship, territorial spirits, godmen and religious spirits, Herods and Jezebel spirits besides occult practices superstition etc. are the major factors that prevent effective evangelization.

I. Idol worship and Demon Spirits

Idols in India

A) 1) India is known for its rich civilization and well-developed social life. There were about 560 kingdoms, big and small, now totally integrated into India. The people are generally god fearing. In their entire life a very important place was given to God, religion and religious practices. Over a period, it became so integrated with their day to day life that their total religious experiences were consider as the normal way of life. Dr. S. Radha Krishnan , a former president of India and a well known and acknowledged philosopher, termed Hinduism as a way of life. It was not a religion but a way of life. That goes to explain the predominant position given to religion in India.

2) Hinduism gave freedom to its devotees to worship God in any form as that appealed to them. Therefore people were encouraged to see God as one of the five elements namely, earth, water, air, fire and sky, initially. Later on, any virtue which the society considered worthy of emulation was personified and deified. Bala. N. Aiyar in his ‘Principles and Practice of Hindu religion’ says, “Hinduism gave the faith with the philosophy and the formless God in the neuter gender…… to pray to God in the form they want …..” Therefore, in the early history of Hinduism, as practiced in south India, there were no idol worship. The ancient literature of Tamil, a language spoken in Tamil Nadu, does not refer to any idols or idol worship. However when the Areans came to India through the Kaibar pass in the Himalayan range (presently in Pakistan) brought idols with them. It is their influence and the subsequent desire to worship the human virtues lead to the personification and proliferation of deities.

3) There are 330 million gods , according to the Hindu belief. There is a well defined hierarchy among the gods, beginning with the Tirumoorthy(pseudo trinity). There are many gods and godesses. With the advent of idol worship, many idols of different shapes and sizes were made. Some of them were most bizarre and cruel looking. They never instill love, reverence or any godly virtue. But they are ready to strike fear with their most heinous appearance.

B 1) As we have seen earlier, there are 330 million gods and godesses according to Hindu religion. In Ex.20:4-6, the Jehovah God said, “You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them nor serve them.” In I Cor.10:20 we read, “…that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice they sacrifice to demons and not to God.” This clearly indicates that there are 330 million demons are active in India.

2) In Deut. 32:17, God said, “They sacrificed to demons, not to God, to gods they did not know to new gods, new arrivals that your fathers did not fear.” God was angry with the Israelites when they made molten and carved images and started worshipping them. Thus they disobeyed God and defiled themselves. This abominable act of the Israelites brought the curses of God upon them.

3) During the history of mankind, a time came when the whole world was totally immersed in the idol worship. ‘The whole world lies under the sway of the wicked one.’ (I Jn.5:19) God chose Abraham from among the idol worshippers and took him away to a different place and made a covenant with him. According to the covenant his descendants would greatly multiply and would be the chosen race of God. This race was given the command to worship the true Jehovah God and not to make idols of any kind nor worship them. Therefore when the Israelites themselves, corrupted themselves to worship idols the Lord punished them severely. They were scattered all over the world and despised by all. If that can happen to the chosen race much more would befall the others who resort to idol worship. “I am the LORD, that is My name; and My glory I will not give to another, nor My praise to graven images.” says the Lord. (Isa 42:8)

Those who give themselves to idol worship are really foolish people though they profess to be wise. The Lord said that he would give them up to vile passions. This explains how the people in India, idol worshippers are perverted and given to every kind of vile passions.

C 1) Satan desired worship from the beginning. Therefore he was cast down and became a devil. This we see from Is.14 and Ezek.28. Satan who could not get worship for himself enticed the human race and deceitfully led them to worship him. After the fall of man, since the whole world was under his sway, it was easy for him to draw man kind further and deeper into the idol worship.

2) Today the idol worship is on the increase. On the one side we see a great revival brought about by the pouring of the Holy Spirit. Satan also, knowing that he has only a short period left, is very active and the result is increase in idol worship. More and more idols of newer and bigger sizes are installed at vantage positions all over the country. The proliferation of idols everywhere indicates how active Satan is.

Effects of idol worship

1) The Jehovah God said, ” I the Lord your God, am a jealous God.” God described Himself as a ‘jealous God’ in Ex.20:6. This was the first time that God said that He was a jealous God. It goes to indicate how abominable is making or worshipping of idols or images in the God’s sight. The reason is not very difficult to see Rom.1: 23 clearly explains this.

God said, “I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me;” (Exod 20:5) He has stated that who ever makes an image or an idol hates God and therefore the wrath of God shall be upon them, even up to their fourth generation. What a frightful situation to be in! If one makes an idol and worships it, he will be bringing all sorts of curses upon him.

Can you visualize a country such as India, which is well endowed with

rich natural resources —- being poor

highly intelligent people —- being foolish before God and superstitious

generally peace loving people — becoming very violent and terrorists.

If it is not the curse of God what else can it be?

2) With the increased idol worship in India, God gave them over to vile passion and debased mind. Therefore the entire categories of sins that are listed in Romans 1: 26-32 abounded in their life. Their spiritual eyes were blinded so as not to see their low status, but to pride themselves and boast.

On one side there are militants rising up in the name of religion, ostensibly to protect the culture and religion of our homeland, but in fact it is the spirit of murder, chaos and confusion that is activated. Therefore we find different kind of militant groups ranging from the apparently peace loving, but carrying out their nefarious acts under cover, to such groups who have openly professed to be militant groups. We find the major groups both among the Hindus and Muslims in India. Rashtria Swayamsevak Sangh (known as RSS), Bajrang Dal, Vishwa Hindu Parishad, Al Umma, Shiv Sena are some of the most vociferous and violent groups. Their actions bring much misery to the people and destruction to their property. Some of these militant groups have their own political wings and they slowly attempt to gain power. The present government in India is actively supported by the Hindu militant groups. The Vishwa Hindu Parishad and Bajrang Dal had earlier been banned. Now they are not only restored but a degree of respectability also is given by the political patronage.

3) These developments, namely, the increase in idol worship and strength of the militant groups have become a major hurdle to evangelization. Initially the demons influenced the enemies of the church to resort to legal means to stop them from propagating their faith. When this did not make much headway, they started building up a hate campaign. Their attempt to legal means was trying to bring an ‘Anticonversion Bill’ by Mr.O.P. Thyagi, a member of Parliment. Though it was against the fundamental rights, this was called legal means only because an Act was attempted to be passed. But the Christians all over the country faced the threat and engaged themselves actively in the spiritual warfare. They forgot all the doctrinal differences between them and with one accord looked unto the Lord. And the Lord made that particular MP himself to withdraw the bill.

4) As the Lord had said idol worship brings all kinds of curses and miseries to the people who indulge themselves in such idol worship. The reason why India is reeling under poverty, illiteracy, superstition, epidemics and natural calamities is clearly due to such idol worship. Many may say that many countries are suffering under the above calamities. It is true that where ever idol worship has abounded the misfortune is inevitable. But what is striking here is the specific areas and people who were afflicted, and the timing of such afflictions.

‘Ganpat’ is a major festival growing in importance year after year in India. It was mainly prevalent in north India but now has spread to the other parts of the country as well. As part of the celebration huge idols of the deity are made and installed all over the city and villages where the people gather. The idol worshippers make some crude forms of the deity out of clay and install in their houses and worship. Few years back, there was a big competition among the people of Bombay, Pune area as to who would make the largest idol. Many idols of huge proportions as had not been made so far, were made that year. On the last day of the festival the anger of God was manifested. A terrific earthquake rattled that area and many people who took very active part in such celebrations perished.

In the same way in Gujarat, a great festival was carried out to appease the rat god. Rat is supposed to be the vehicle of ‘Ganapathi’. After much pomp and show the celebration came to an end. But the anger of God was manifested. The plague which started from the very place were such celebrations were held, spread to the entire state of Gujarat. The number of dead people ran into several thousands. It could be directly related to the idol worship.

5) One of the major curses that India is suffering from is flood on the one side and drought on the other. This country has several rivers, many of which are perennial. Both monsoons, south western and south eastern, bring copious rain to the country. But invariably when one part of the country reels under heavy flood, another part is experiencing drought. The states of Rajasthan, part of Madya Pradesh , etc. are very often dry. The people of that area do not even get sufficient drinking water. The women folk of that area have to trek a long way to get some potable water. But states like Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal, Assam are always flooded after every monsoon. Other natural calamities such as landslides, avalanche, heavy snow fall, ice, cold wave, heat wave, etc. take their toll. But invariably year after year people in their thousands become victims to the natural disasters.

6) Another curse of idol worship is acute poverty. It is estimated that nearly 33% of the total population which is equal to 330 million (the same of number of demons active in this country) are below poverty line. For these people, very subsistence is an ordeal. Any number of developmental projects initiated by subsequent governments have not brought any amelioration to this hapless people. It is because the poverty is directly a curse from God and it cannot be solved by human efforts. Any attempt to eradicate poverty is bound to meet with failure unless and until the root cause of it, viz.,idol worship is eliminated from among the people. The Bible says, “The blessing of the LORD makes one rich, and He adds no sorrow with it.” Prov 10:22 The blessing of the Lord comes only when His commandments are kept.

Plague and several other epidemics have broken out and decimated the people. That is the another curse caused by the perverted way of life and due to idol worship. The recent one that is spreading fast and could not be contained so far is AIDS. The history behind each idol has its own story which is perverted in nature. So both together have brought the most horrible punishment from God. It is estimated that the victims of AIDS in India is between 3.5 to 4.5 million. These people are facing certain and cruel death besides social ostracizing.

It is further said that there are about 3.2 million people afflicted with leprosy in India. There are about 10 million blind people also in India. This is almost 25% of the total blind people in the world.

7) In Rom.1:26, it is said that the Lord gave them over to degrading passions. This is explained as abandoning them to their own perversions. Therefore those people who indulge in idol worship and plunge themselves more and more into it are invariably turned into people of very low moral character. In turn this reflects in the type of idols they make. They give free vent to their sexual perversions while making the images. That is how we see a lot of idols of gods and goddesses in compromising positions. People give different kinds of explanations but the basic fact remains that it arouses the baser instincts in man. There are many temples which are considered sacred by the devotees are full of such idols. The history of how certain idols came into vogue will make one shudder. I shall briefly dwell upon two idols only. One is Sivalingam and the other is Ayyappan.

Sivalingam

The following extract is taken from the book ‘ Hindu manners, customs and ceremonies.’ The lingam an object of deep veneration throughout India, is the symbol of Siva and it is under this obscene form that the god is principally honor. ….. Here in abridged form, is what linga- purana says ‘Brahma, Vishnu, Vasishta accompanied by a numerous of illustrious penitents went one day to Kailash to pay a visit to the god and surprised him in the act of intercourse with his wife. He was not in the least disconcerted by the presence of the illustrious visitors….. continued to indulge in the gratification of his sensual desires. ……… This had angered the visitors who heaped upon the god several curses. These curses fell on Siva and his wife like a clap of thunder and they both died of grieve in the same position. Siva desired that the act which had covered him with shame and which had been the cause of his death should be celebrated among man kind. …….. Accordingly he ordained that men should thereafter offer sacrifices and worship to his lingam is his male organ. It is incredible, it is impossible to believe. that in inventing this vile superstition, the religious teachers in India that the people should render direct worship to objects the very names of which among civilized nations are an insult to decency. Without any doubt the obscene symbol contained an allegorical meaning, and was a type, in the first instance, of the reproductive courses of the nature, the generative source of all human beings. For the rest, the lingam offers an incontestable analogy to the priapus of Romans and the phallus of the Egyptians. The fact is, all the founders of false religions had need to appeal to the baser senses and to flatter the passions of their proselytes in order to attract them to their foolish doctrines and blind them to their impostures.

Ayyappan

The devotion to Ayyappan is of recent origin. It is said in the Puranas that ones Vishnu disguised himself in the form of a beautiful woman and was parading before Siva. Siva was taken up by the beauty of the woman and desired to possess her. So he started to making advances and the Vishnu tried to escape from him and started running away. Siva pursued him, caught him and wanted to ravish him. Their union brought Ayyappa to this world. This is an unbelievable story to any man of ordinary common sense and intelligence. But not so to a mind which has already been immersed by idol worship and blinded by Satan. The simple logic that two males cannot procreate nor can a male bring forth a child does not appeal to them. Their mind is ready to accept any thing that is given with a religious connotation.

Devotion to Ayyappa, of late is gaining wide acceptance mainly in the southern states of India and now even in north India. Sabari malai, the abode of Ayyppa is visited by thousands of pilgrims nowadays. Every year there is a marked increase in the number of pilgrims.

The devotion to Sivalingam, Ayyappa and such other idols depicting moral and sexual perversions are very many in the Hindu religion. Since they are given over to degrading passions these devotees and the places where these temples are located such sins as prostitution, sodomy, debauchery are also on the increase. Therefore we find prostitutions abounding in temples. Homosexuals and lesbians are also on the increase.

II God – Men and their Influence in the Socio-political Field

God-men and false gurus and teachers excercise a lot of influence on the leaders of this country. There is not a single leader in India either in the state politics or in the centre who has not his own godfather or god- mother. It is not only the god-men who influence the political leaders and exercise their authority by remote control, as it were, but the women folk also vie with their male counterparts to establish their sphere of influence and authority. Therefore it is common to see many god-men and god-women establishing Ashrams and influencing leaders. The story of Chandra Swamy , a god-man who wielded a lot of influence and authority over Rajiv Gandhi and Mr. Narasimha Rao(Former Prime Ministers of India) is too well known to repeat. Chandra Swamy established a separate centre of authority and power that he could easily change the decisions of the cabinet or cabinet subcommittee. In the assassination case of Rajiv Gandhi, his name was mentioned widely and Newspaper carried a lot of stories, implicating his involvement.

There were only two prime ministers in the history of India who were not totally under the control of some god-men or other.. They were Mr. V.P.Singh and Mr. I.K.Gujaral. But it was very unfortunate that neither of them could complete their full term.

The power these god-men exert on the politicians is such that it is they who rule by proxy rather than the actual leaders. This gains credence by the frequency and ease with which the governments are changed. These god-men held their proteges under their control by the number of MPs whose support they relied on. Initially the MPs desired the favour of god-men to get closer to the powers to be, and once they established themselves firmly, the god-men got their pound of flesh from them. This made the leaders to be totally dependant on these god-men.

Not being satisfied with the indirect power they were exercising, they seek power now on their own. The number of saffron clad sanyasis and swamijis who contest elections and seek the elected office is on the increase.

Bible pattern:

1. Though Ahab was the king, Jezebel exerted influence over the elders and others. She plotted and killed Naboth and wrongly acquired his vineyard. ( I Kings 21. )

2. Jezebel persecuted the prophets of God. She threatened even to kill Elijah. ( I Kings 18 )

3. Elymas the magician attached himself to Sergius Paulus, the Proconsul. He would not let him listen to Paul. Finally Paul had to deal with the spirit that was upon Elymas. When God’s power was manifested and Elymas was blinded, the Bible says ‘the proconsul believed.’ ( Act.13:6-11)

4. In the Old Testament there are any number of examples to show how God punished those who indulged in idol worship. Before the exodus of the Israelites from Egypt many signs and wonders had to be performed. Pharaoh was considered an incarnate of the sun god. He considered himself and so venerated by his subjects as god. Therefore his commands were considered to be divine edicts. That is why when Moses went to Pharaoh seeking the release of God’s children, Pharaoh did not take him seriously in the beginning. He could say, “who is the Lord that I should obey his voice to let Israel go? I do not know the Lord nor will I let Israel go.” (Ex.5:2) God knew how Pharaoh would react when Moses and Aaron went to him with God’s command. God had already said to Moses, ” But I am sure that the king of Egypt will not let you go, no, not even by a mighty hand. So I will stretch out my hand and strike Egypt with all my wonders which I will do in its midst and after that he will let you go.” (Ex.3:19,20) We know from subsequent power encounters how Pharaoh had to be totally annihilated.

Indian Scenario:

There are many godmen , who can be letter termed as ‘conmen’. By magic powers and tricks they win the approval of political leaders and then they become their spiritual guider. Through carefully and well laid out plans they increase their sphere of influence and become ‘ centers of extra constitutional power.’

III. Territorial Spirits

Demons are assigned to particular places, villages, neighborhoods, cities and nations. Every geopolitical unit in the world has one or more strong-man attached to it. Gospel makes little or no progress until the dominating spirits of each locale are engaged through power encounter.

The Bible says:

i) Territorial Spirits impede, prevent and delay answers from God to our prayers. Dan.10 0 Prince of Persia contended with the angel who brought the reply to Daniel. Finally Michael, one of the archangels had to go to his rescue. (Dan.10:13)

(ii) When Jesus was going to Genesereth, where the demon possessed man was, the evil spirits caused a tempest to blow and attempted to prevent Jesus from reaching that place. They knew that Jesus would chase them out of him.

(iii) When they were driven out, they beseeched the Lord, saying that they be permitted to enter into the herd of swine.

(iv) When a demon is driven out, it always tries to come back to its abode. ( Lk.11:24-26)

In India: Naga

India is a vast country – with 26 major states and about six minor states (or union territories). We find in every such place one or two major temples, where millions of people gather every year to worship the presiding demons. In Psalm. 115:8 we read, “All those who make them(idols) and those who trust in them are also like them.” This goes to prove that the devotee who worship a particular demon acquires the characteristics of that demon. Accordingly, one who worships ‘Kali’ an evil looking and ferocious and blood thirsty demon, acquire its character. They become very violent, belligerent and cruel. They do not hesitate even to commit murder.

(i) In the state of Gujarat, the deity worshipped is Lakshmi. Lakshmi is the goddess of wealth. Therefore we find more people of Gujarat are more money minded than other places. Their avarice for money and wealth is well known. They covet on the one hand and are stingy or parsimonious on the other.

Similarly in South India a particular community of people who worship Lakshmi are more seeker of fortunes. Their means acquire wealth is not always just and honest.

ii) In Andhra – the famous pilgrimage centre is Thirupathy. The presiding deity is Venkatachalapathy. He is said to have two wives. Besides he is supposed to be an avatar or reincarnation of Vishnu or Krishna. He is known for his romantic adventures and sexual perversions. Therefore in that place the incidence of prostitution, polygamy, bigotry and such other sex-related crimes are much more than other places.

iii) In the state of West Bengal, Saraswathy – ‘a goddess of learning’ is worshipped. Therefore there are more men of letters there. More poets, novelists and authors are found from there. Besides ‘intellectual arrogance’ is attributed to the Bengalis more than anywhere else.

iv) In the state of Bihar and part of West Bengal ‘Kali’ worship is more. Kali is a cruel goddess, who is depicted as a women with six arms, each one wielding a deadly weapon and her tongue stuck out and eyes blood shot. She loves blood and sacrifices are made to it. The people in Bihar are generally cruel and belligerent.

As we have already seen, there are about 330 million demons in India. Their prince, the snake is also exercising great control over India. Topographically we have Nagaland in the North, Nagpur a city in Madya Pradesh in the centre and Nagercoil (meaning temple of cobra) is at the southern tip. This explains the powerful grip Satan had all over India.

IV Herod spirit or Jezebel Spirit

Herod spirit in the N.T. and Jezebel spirit in the O.T. represent the evil forces that attack the church of God and His prophets and the believers. They persecute the church and terrorize God’s people. It has been working very actively throughout history.

1. Herod when he was let down by the wisemen, ordered the male children below 2 years to be murdered.

2. The same spirit acting through Herodia, whom Herod had taken illegally caused the murder of John the Baptist.

3. Jezebel murdered many prophets of God, so much so that Elijah thought that he was the only one left alive.

4. Herod put Jacob to the sword and sought to murder Peter also.

5. Rev. Zizo speaks how Jezebel led God’s prophets into prostitution and other sins. These are the spirits of persecution, violence and terrorism. Today in India the scenario is as below:

Persecution in India:

These spirits are the forces behind the Anti Christian movements. These people consider themselves as the guardians of their culture and under the guise of championing its cause, persecute the church.

These spirits work to a pattern. They initially seek to restrain people from following God by lure of money, office, prestige, etc. When this does not work, they try to manipulate the records and try to intimidate. Finally they resort to violence and thereafter do not worry about the means they adopt to achieve their goal.

The main allegations these so called champions of culture level against God’s Church and His people are :

(i) Christian social services are only a cover for proselytizing.

(ii) Christianity is a foreign religion

(iii) Ignorant and gullible Dalits and tribals are converted by Christians, taking advantages of their gullibility and socioeconomic conditions.

(iv) Christians stealthily convert the tribals because they are so vulnerable.

But most of those who raise there allegations themselves know that these are false and hold no water. But when a lie is repeated hundreds of time, it is likely to create a doubt if not belief, in the minds of the people.

Persecutions:

Since 1992 a systematic propaganda against the Christians and the Christian missionaries was let loose. The writing, production, distribution of such hate literature to incite and inflame communal hatred to provoke attacks on a target community is identical to the methods used by the Nazis in Germany.

i) After 1992, there have been more than fifty churches have been burnt down in Gujarat, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Orissa & Andhra.

ii) More than ten bomb blasts had been reported

(iii) Beginning with Graham Staines and his two sons aged 9 and 7 who were burned alive, several pastors, Christian workers had been killed.

(iv) There were innumerable cases of manhandling and assaulting believers returning from worship had been reported

(v) Many converts of the Christian sisters had been raided in Karnataka by R.S.S.

volunteers.

(vi) Christian hospitals in Latur, in Maharashtra had been damaged.

(vii) Everyday Hindu activists falsely implicate Christian workers in criminal cases and harass them.

V Occult practices, Magic and Superstitions

India has given a lot of importance to learning right from the ancient days. The learner and the wise men were held in high esteem both by the kings and nobles as well as by the public. Students would stay with the guru or teacher, carry out all his biddings and errands. During the leisure time the teacher will teach the students all that he had learnt. Each guru wanted his students to excel him in all respects. Generally the subjects taught were languages, astrology, astronomy, philosophy, vedhantha and martial arts. Unfortunately all the children who desired education was not eligible to learn. It was restricted to those who are born in the upper caste mainly the Brahmins and kshatrias(ruling class)

But with the introduction of idols into India, this learning process slowly lost its glamour. Very few students were found to undergo training staying with the teachers for fairly long period. This has resulted in stagnation and the quality of education deteriorated.

This learning process was not systematically cultivated. When many European and other countries were still without any form of civilization, India had a well developed civilization and social life. But all these countries have since emerged from the darkness of ignorance have attained the summit of civilization. But India is still stooped in ignorance, superstition and meaningless traditions.

The Bible specifically forbids any one, i) to pass through the fire ii) to practice witchcraft

iii) to be a soothsayer iv) to interpret omens v) to be a sorcerer vi) to conjure spells vii) to be a medium or a spiritist, or viii) to be the one who calls up the dead. (Deut. 18:11,12)

When idols increase in any country and idol worship becomes rampant, the eyes of the people are blinded by Satan. They begin to do all that God has forbidden. Accordingly in India occult practices have increased as never before. People rush to an astrologer to find out the ideal time before they would carry out any important function. Accordingly, right from the birth of the child every important stage in the child’s life, be it naming of the child, commencing education, buying books, even upto marriage and beyond auspicious time is sought for.

Astrological predictions

The Hindu almanac gives a daily chart indicating the good time, the bad time, etc. Certain days are considered to be bad days, when no good things can be done. Accordingly if a particular day is bad, no one would purchase an asset nor would they sell it. They will not get married on that day. Since most of the marriages in India are arranged marriages the parents invariably look for the auspicious time. Before finalising the marriage an astrological chart called ‘Jathagam’ of both the bride and groom is thoroughly studied by an astrologer and approved. If it is not approved the marriage will not be solemnized. This way they seem to satisfy the results that the bride and groom are made for each other and that they will have a long and happy married life. Though there are many widows in Indian society, it has not dissuaded the people from resorting to comparing the Jathagams.

It is not only for marriage but even for other social and official functions as well.

1) In 1996 when Mr. Deve Gowda became the Prime Minister, he approached several astrologers, mainly one Sankara Iyer, from a place called Namakkal in Tamil Nadu. All the astrologers prescribed the exact time on which the Mr. Deva Gowda was to assume office. If he followed that direction, they all assured him that he would be a successful prime minister. They further said that he would complete his term of five years and that no body can dislodge. To further fortify his position, they conducted lot of Poojas, Yagas, religious ceremonies etc. Poojas were offered in several temples and ‘prasath’ was distributed. But what happened is history. Within a short period he had to vacate office.

2) After Mr. Deve Gowda, Mr. I.K.Gujral became the prime minister. Mr. P.Chidamparam , Mr. S.R. Balasubramaniam, Mr. Arunchalam, and Mr. Danushkodi Athithan were to take oath of office and assume office as ministers in Central Government. But the prescribed date happen to be ‘Ashtamy'(it means eigth day from new moon or full moon- considered inauspicious) Therefore they identified a good day, most auspicious time and assumed office. They not only lost their office as ministers but had to vacate their MP seats as well.

It is not only the political leaders who follow these practices. It has become so common the people just follow it without batting an eye lid. But what is very unfortunate and sad is that even some Christians are accustomed to doing things this way.

The period between mid July and mid August (month of ‘Aadi’ in Tamil Calender) and the period between mid December and mid January (month of ‘Markali’ in Tamil calender) are considered to be inauspicious.

Superstitions

Many people in India are highly superstitious. Whether they are educated or uneducated it makes no difference. They just follow certain practices traditionally. Nobody gives it a second thought to know whether it has any meaning or not. But generation after generation people just repeat those practices. We list below a few such superstitions.

1. When there is a death in a family his immediate family members assemble at the front courtyard of the house. They burn camphor, break a coconut and worship looking up at the sky. This is their way of bidding good bye to the departed soul.

Our Vision

When God gave me a burden for North India, I went there with all zeal thinking that I will shake North India. But indeed I was shaken. We fasted and prayed as a team but could not see any result in the ministry. A senior pastor said that he had distributed three truck loads of gospel tracts and not even a single soul was won. We witnessed the formidable attack of the enemy. We were depressed and discouraged when nothing happened. When we fasted and prayed God gave me a vision. I saw the Lord standing in a valley and training the soldiers. Then God spoke to me. Delivering messages alone would not suffice but people have to be delivered and transformed into a mighty army. I heard the audible voice of God saying, “Raise me an army”. God gave me the subjects to be taught. When we started training young men and women, we saw the fruit of our labour. They went out to win souls, delivering people from the evil clutches, healing the sick and doing signs and wonders. Mere preaching was not enough, only the power encounter can break the power of the enemy. Then I travelled all over the country conducting teaching seminars for full time ministers and others. We conducted fasting prayers and Short Term Courses. Now thousands have been raised up to build the Kingdom of God. With my experience of more than 25 years in the Lord’s vineyard I can boldly say that the power of the Holy Spirit is the answer for effective evangelisation and building up God’s Kingdom.

Testimony

1. Binding the strongman of Salem

Salem, a city in Tamil Nadu was known for prostitution and sexual perversions. Several attempts before that to conduct crusade meetings and other evangelical meetings met with stiff resistance. The attendance at such meetings were negligible. Therefore we waited upon the Lord and wanted to know what was to be done. The Lord showed us that the entire place was under the demonic control. The strong man of that area thwarted all attempts for prayer. Therefore the Holy Spirit led us to bind the strongman first. We arranged for chain prayer with fasting. When this was done, the answer came to us. There was a big gathering of more than 5000 people.

2. Spirit of division

In my ministry experience, I have had visions about the very churches, where I am going to minister. I specially remember, one occasion, when I went to a large church in Rajasthan, along with Bro. Jesudoss of my team. As soon as I reached the church, I heard several good testimonies about the church. The elders narrated at length about the revival meetings recently held there. On the first day of our ministry, the moment I entered the church and occupied my chair, the Holy Spirit gave me a vision. I saw the floor of the church cracked lengthwise. From the crevice, I could see a small snake emerging, moving its head this way and that, sticking its tongue out. When I saw that vision, a chill came over me. That day Bro. Jesudoss gave the message of God. After that I was leading the congregation in prayer. Without narrating the vision, I bound the spirit that was acting to divide that church. My translator struggled to interpret that sentence. When the prayer service was over, many believers of that church came to me, shook my hands and exclaimed, “The Lord has exposed the actual state of the church to you, brother”. Only then, I was told the true story. One of the believers of that church had oratorical skill. He used that ability to divide the church. He tried to form another church with the breakaway group. This necessitated the senior pastor of the church to visit the members of the breakaway group. Therefore he could not even attend that night’s meeting. The Holy Spirit showed me that very clearly. The crack in the middle and a little snake rearing its head through that crevice, explained how a believer from that church was trying to cause a division.

3. Deliverance from spirit of idolatry

a) Once when I was ministering in Muscat a lady came to me for prayer. She was suffering from severe head ache for several years even from her younger days. No amount of medical treatment could give her any real relief. After praying for her, I counselled her to spent more time with the Word of God and be in His presence. The moment I said this, she broke down and said that the severity of her head ache in creased manyfold and she could not even read. Then I enquired about her past. She hailed from Hindu backround. Her parents were idol worshippers and she too had participated in all religious functions. She even carried ‘Kavadi’ ( a kind of decorated stand with idol) on her shoulders. Since then she started getting that head ache. It was clear the spirit behind that idle was tormenting her. Then I took authority in the name of Jesus, commanded the devil to release its hold and go out of that lady. Within minutes she started vomitting some black stuff. That was the end of the head ache.

b) During one of our Short Term Intensive Ministerial Course (STC) during the year 1992, I was teaching on the authority of a believer. I was showing them how the idol spirits that had possessed any one when he was a non-believer will not loose its hold even after he becomes a believer unless the spirit is cast out. I was explaining how the spirits behind the idols can possess the devotees. I was saying that even Christians who followed the traditional churches where statues are installed and venerated can become victims. I was mentioning about Mary and other saints. Just then one of the participants rushed towards the podium. One of his hands was bent backward and he could not straighten it up. On enquiry we found out that before his salvation he was a pedlar. He was Roman catholic Christian devoted to Mary of Velankanni. (it is a place of pilgrimage for R.C. Christians were our lady is supposed to have appeared) He was immediately delivered in the name of Jesus. Immediately his hand was straightened and he became normal. Subsequently he became a full time minister and today he is preaching the word of God in several countries including England.

Berachah Prophetic Ministries

Believe the Lord, you shall be established. Believe in His prophets you shall have success.” ( (II Chr.20:20)

The word of the Lord came to me in a distinct audible voice saying, “Raise me an army”. In obedience to His voice, I pioneered the Berachah Prophecti Ministries in the year 1988. The predominant purpose of BPM is to raise a new generation of thoroughbred leaders and to train them in Spiritual Warfare, Art of prayer, Praise and Worship, Operation of the gifts of the Holy Spirit, etc., exposing them to the realm of Supernaturals. The Lord has been raising thousands of dominant, militant, aggressive ministers of God through the periodical seminars and training programmes conducted by BPM.

God has commissioned me to proclaim His prophetic voice to the Church and to prepare the Body of Christ for the end time revival. Hardly at the age of fourteen, the Lord chose me out of the thousands to be a blessing to the thousands. At that tender age, the Lord told me, “I have ordained you as a prophet for the nations of the world”, which is being confirmed time and again through a tremendous ministry accompanied with miracles, signs and wonders. Having had an intimate relationship with Him for more than a quarter century, God used me in multifarious ministries like Evangelism, Revival, Prayer and Worship etc. I glorify God for having used me to bring many thousands.

At this juncture, the Holy Spirit clearly revealed to me that it was high time to train pastors, evangelists and believers as prayer warriors to combat the powers of darkness and rebuild and strengthen the churches. The Lord told me specifically to raise such an army for Him. I waited upon the Lord with much fasting and prayers to receive the blue print of His ministry. In response to my prayers, the Lord gave the name ‘Berachah’ which means ‘praise’ and ‘blessings’ for the ministry.

As the Holy Spirit showed me the importance of corporate ministry, I sought the counsel of many men of God whom God had revealed to me for prayerful planning. Eventually, the Berachah Prophetic Ministries was born in 1988. Now, without much ado, we have trained more than 10,000 dynamic leaders from all around the world who are mightily used by God. They are having the break through in their life and ministry by realising their calling and getting themselves effectively equipped.

Testimony

1. Binding the strongman of Salem

Salem, a city in Tamil Nadu was known for prostitution and sexual perversions. Several attempts before that to conduct crusade meetings and other evangelical meetings met with stiff resistance. The attendance at such meetings were negligible. Therefore we waited upon the Lord and wanted to know what was to be done. The Lord showed us that the entire place was under the demonic control. The strong man of that area thwarted all attempts for prayer. Therefore the Holy Spirit led us to bind the strongman first. We arranged for chain prayer with fasting. When this was done, the answer came to us. There was a big gathering of more than 5000 people.

2. Spirit of division

In my ministry experience, I have had visions about the very churches, where I am going to minister. I specially remember, one occasion, when I went to a large church in Rajasthan, along with Bro. Jesudoss of my team. As soon as I reached the church, I heard several good testimonies about the church. The elders narrated at length about the revival meetings recently held there. On the first day of our ministry, the moment I entered the church and occupied my chair, the Holy Spirit gave me a vision. I saw the floor of the church cracked lengthwise. From the crevice, I could see a small snake emerging, moving its head this way and that, sticking its tongue out. When I saw that vision, a chill came over me. That day Bro. Jesudoss gave the message of God. After that I was leading the congregation in prayer. Without narrating the vision, I bound the spirit that was acting to divide that church. My translator struggled to interpret that sentence. When the prayer service was over, many believers of that church came to me, shook my hands and exclaimed, “The Lord has exposed the actual state of the church to you, brother”. Only then, I was told the true story. One of the believers of that church had oratorical skill. He used that ability to divide the church. He tried to form another church with the breakaway group. This necessitated the senior pastor of the church to visit the members of the breakaway group. Therefore he could not even attend that night’s meeting. The Holy Spirit showed me that very clearly. The crack in the middle and a little snake rearing its head through that crevice, explained how a believer from that church was trying to cause a division.

3. Deliverance from spirit of idolatry

a) Once when I was ministering in Muscat a lady came to me for prayer. She was suffering from severe head ache for several years even from her younger days. No amount of medical treatment could give her any real relief. After praying for her, I counselled her to spent more time with the Word of God and be in His presence. The moment I said this, she broke down and said that the severity of her head ache in creased manyfold and she could not even read. Then I enquired about her past. She hailed from Hindu backround. Her parents were idol worshippers and she too had participated in all religious functions. She even carried ‘Kavadi’ ( a kind of decorated stand with idol) on her shoulders. Since then she started getting that head ache. It was clear the spirit behind that idle was tormenting her. Then I took authority in the name of Jesus, commanded the devil to release its hold and go out of that lady. Within minutes she started vomitting some black stuff. That was the end of the head ache.

b) During one of our Short Term Intensive Ministerial Course (STC) during the year 1992, I was teaching on the authority of a believer. I was showing them how the idol spirits that had possessed any one when he was a non-believer will not loose its hold even after he becomes a believer unless the spirit is cast out. I was explaining how the spirits behind the idols can possess the devotees. I was saying that even Christians who followed the traditional churches where statues are installed and venerated can become victims. I was mentioning about Mary and other saints. Just then one of the participants rushed towards the podium. One of his hands was bent backward and he could not straighten it up. On enquiry we found out that before his salvation he was a pedlar. He was Roman catholic Christian devoted to Mary of Velankanni. (it is a place of pilgrimage for R.C. Christians were our lady is supposed to have appeared) He was immediately delivered in the name of Jesus. Immediately his hand was straightened and he became normal. Subsequently he became a full time minister and today he is preaching the word of God in several countries including England.