In early June, Southern Baptists will pray and fast for twenty-four hours on behalf of the 850 million Hindus of India.
From 6 p.m. Friday, June 9, to 6 p.m. Saturday, June 10, Christian believers will ask God to reveal His love and redemption to hundreds of millions of Indians who have never heard such good news.
The 14th annual Day of Prayer and Fasting for World Evangelization shows Southern Baptists want all the world's peoples to hear about salvation in Jesus Christ, said Jerry Rankin, president of the Southern Baptist International Mission Board.
"We are so grateful for Southern Baptists' love for Christ and the people of the world," he said. "Their unfailing commitment to pray for the unreached peoples of the world is the key to preparing and opening a way for the gospel to reach them."
Southern Baptists who pray for lost Hindus play an important part in getting the gospel to lost millions, said an International Mission Board worker in India.
"For many years, I have longed for God's love and truth to be focused on the Hindus of India through the concentrated intercession of God's people," said the worker, whose name was withheld for security reasons. "I joyfully expect God to use our prayers as part of His plan to bring peace, freedom, love, and joy into the lives of hundreds of millions of Hindus."
In spite of barriers like the Hindu caste system, a multitude of languages and non-literacy, God is at work in India, the worker said.
"God is enabling His people to build bridges across which His love and grace can move into India's various people groups," he said. "The story of God's love - demonstrated in the sacrifice of Jesus Christ for our sins - is good news to Hindu India.
"Your prayers will be used by God not only to shine the light of His love into individual Hindu hearts but also to transform India into a land of hope and a beacon of light to the world."
A free prayer kit is available to churches participating in the Day of Prayer and Fasting. The kit includes an issue of The Commission magazine dedicated to the Hindus of India, a prayer profile and prayer guide, and prayer requests from workers who deeply love the Hindus and long for their salvation.
To order the Day of Prayer and Fasting for World Evangelization kit, call toll-free 1-800-866-3621 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
What Does a Hindu Believe?
The world of Hinduism embraces a legion of traditions, philosophies, sects, gods, and gurus. Most Hindus, however, hold to these fundamental beliefs, according to Hinduism Today, an international monthly magazine:
1. I believe in one, all-pervasive Supreme Being who is both immanent and transcendent, both Creator and Unmanifest Reality.
2. I believe that the universe undergoes endless cycles of creation, preservation, and dissolution.
3. I believe that all souls are evolving toward union with God and will ultimately find "Moksha"-spiritual knowledge and liberation from the cycle of rebirth. Not a single soul will be eternally deprived of this destiny.
4. I believe in karma, the law of cause and effect by which each individual creates his own destiny by his thoughts, words, and deeds.
5. I believe that the soul reincarnates, evolving through many births until all karmas have been resolved.
6. I believe that divine beings exist in unseen inner worlds and that temple worship, rituals, and sacraments as well as personal devotionals create a communion with these "devas" and gods.
7. I believe that a spiritually awakened Master or "Sat Guru" is essential to know the Transcendent Absolute, as are personal discipline, good conduct, purification, self-inquiry, and meditation.
8. I believe that all life is sacred and to be loved and revered, and in the practice of "ahimsa" or nonviolence.
9. I believe that no particular religion teaches the only way to salvation above all others, but that all genuine religious paths are facets of God's Pure Love and Light, deserving tolerance and understanding.