India is where it all began! In the world’s most populous country, we come alongside local leaders in 11 states and three union territories. We directly support the work of 80 followers of Jesus on the mainland (not including the Andaman and Nicobar Islands) who are reaching their people for Christ through economic empowerment programs, children’s ministries and education, disaster relief, pastor training, and more.

Nearly one in five people on earth lives in this diverse country. India has 121 languages spoken by 10,000 or more people, and its geography ranges from the Himalayas to dry deserts to tropical rainforests and everything in between. Not only is it home to the world’s largest Hindu population, it is also home to the third-largest Muslim population.

Through conferences and pastor training courses, Harvest Bridge has trained several thousand Indian church leaders. From 2021-2023, over 300 leaders throughout the country received ministry training, 234 new churches and house fellowships were started, and 2,785 new believers were baptized. 6,525 Bibles were distributed, along with 50 audio Bibles for illiterate believers.

Over these three years, in collaboration with partner organizations and donors, we coordinated distribution of ministry tools and related types of support to local leaders who needed them. Five were provided with bicycles, two received motorbikes, two received laptops, one had a storm-damaged vehicle repaired, 83 were provided toolkits containing various items helpful to their ministries, and three received startup capital and training to launch income-generating businesses. Amid continued high rates of Christian persecution in recent years, we were able to help 26 church leaders with medical bills and other needs after they suffered persecution for their faith. Another 250 people benefitted from a water well installed in their community, where persecuted believers had previously lacked access to clean drinking water.

Over 500 children were able to further their education through night schools run by our supported pastors and church volunteers. Another 15 children received monthly sponsorship, enabling their families to afford keeping them at home instead of sending them to an orphanage. 20 children from disadvantaged backgrounds attended a preschool run by one of our partners, and more than 260 children in marginalized communities received nutritious meals and dietary supplements. Through the tireless advocacy of one HB-supported leader, 516 people from these same marginalized communities received citizenship rights and ID cards for the first time in their lives.

These three years were also strong for women’s ministry and economic empowerment. 30 women were trained to earn income through a recycling business, 132 learned sewing/tailoring, 30 were equipped to work as cleaners in healthcare settings, 80 received agricultural and health/hygiene training, five were trained in making and selling a unique brand of jewelry, and more than 50 were taught to work as makeup artists. 20 women benefitted from an adult literacy course, and 51 mothers & their babies received nutritious food during pregnancy and nursing.

Medical ministry was another area of focus over the past three years. Over 800 people attended general medical clinics, while another 42 attended an eye clinic where they were seen by an optometrist and received glasses. 130 people received regular glucose testing for diabetes, 24 men attended an alcoholism rehab program coordinated by HB-supported leaders, and over 2,000 people received Covid-19 vaccines through our local leaders’ efforts. With regard to disaster relief, 1,650 families were provided emergency food packets during the peak of the Covid crisis, to avert their food insecurity from being unable to work during lockdowns. A further 3,395 families received emergency relief packets following severe flooding, and our partners supplied blankets and/or snowstorm relief packets to 460 families suffering from cold waves and snowstorms in northern India.

Capital: Delhi

Population: 1.417 billion

Religion: Hindu 79.8%, Muslim 14.2%, Christian 2.3%, Sikh 1.7%, Buddhist 0.7%, Jain 0.5%, other 0.8%

Persecution Watch List Country Ranking: 11

Ministries: Pastor Training, Children’s Ministries, Pastor & Missionary Sponsorship, Economic DevelopmentGATEDisaster Relief & Rehabilitation

Leadership Information: Our India Director oversees HB’s network of partners in India. For over 40 years, he has helped plant dozens of churches and has led pastor training and discipleship programs throughout South Asia.