A Bright Future

Secular economists and politicians agree that India is doing more than just producing Bollywood films and taking technology jobs outsourced from the United States. Its upwardly mobile population, entrepreneurial spirit and democratic ideals could turn it into the world's next superpower.

And while many of the world's developed countries have negative birth rates, India is one of the youngest nations on the planet-with 47 percent of the population under age 20. That's what prompted Indian-American evangelist Sujo John, 34, to launch an ambitious church-planting strategy that will, beginning this year, target youth in the major urban centers of India, including Mumbai, New Delhi, Chennai and Calcutta.

"These young Indians will be very dominant in world affairs," says John, a native of Calcutta. "They really don't hold to their parents' faith. They are saying, 'We have tried everything and we are empty.' Soon I believe there will be an army of Indian young people who will go to the ends of the earth with the gospel."

Pastor Kallianpur agrees. "We have a prophetic word over this nation that India will be a platform for the glory of the Lord to the nations," he says. "Hinduism was born here. Buddhism was born here. Sikhism was born here. Jainism was born here. New Age was born here. All these religions went to the nations. Now the time has come that India will proclaim the message of the Ageless One to the nations."

D'Souza believes India will demonstrate "the full transformational power of the gospel" in coming years, particularly as the struggle for Dalit freedom gains strength. He says that there are four "waves of the Spirit" that the Indian church is riding: (1) the wave of proclamation (aggressive evangelism); (2) the wave of compassion; (3) the wave of signs and wonders; and (4) the wave of social justice.

Churches and ministries that embrace this four-pronged gospel "are the ones that are growing in India," D'Souza says. "Those that try to box God in their own world are not growing."

Perhaps D'Souza and other Indian leaders will eventually bring their message to the American church. One thing is certain: Indians make up one-sixth of the world's population, and they are a force to be reckoned with. Before it is all over, the spiritual explosion happening on the other side of the world will affect us all.

J. Lee Grady is the former editor of Charisma. He conducted interviews for this article during visits to the Indian states of Punjab, Andhra Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Bihar.

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