India: missionary and Pastor Taras Sen Shares Reality, Threats and Challenges
12 December 2022
Ethiopia, Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, and now India. As pastor and missionary Taras Sen says, each of these trips is God’s miracle and the fulfillment of God’s promises. At the end of November, Taras Sen returned from a missionary trip to India. What kind of lotus country is it from inside? Is it difficult to explain to followers of Hinduism that the only true God is Jesus Christ? Read about this and other things in the interview.
Taras Volodymyrovych, could you tell us what the aim of the trip was?
We started working in India even before our trip, because our CITA missionaries are there. A missionary school started not so long ago. Therefore, I wanted to see the situation in India with my own eyes, help to arrange charity events, and inspire Christians to serve God and people with love. It was also important to understand how we can be helpful to the Indian people.
Each missionary trip is saturated with various events, meetings… What did you manage to do during your short visit to India?
Since 2014, nationalists have been in power in India. Their stance is the following: “India is a country for Hinduism.” There is freedom in India, but it is rather restricted, especially for foreign citizens. Hinduism is an official religion in India and the third in the world by the number of followers after Christianity and Islam.
For this reason, we have been trying to understand the way how this system works in India and take utmost efforts to help local Christians and inspire them in their serving God.
As I said before, students study at a missionary school. Upon graduation, they will plant evangelical churches and preach the Good news to the Hindu people. This is only Jesus Christ who gives salvation and eternal life. Without Jesus people are going to hell. That is why I want this truth to be perceived by as many people in the world as possible so that they could believe in the only real God and live happily. There is no happiness without God.
We were trying to decide along with local Christians what projects we would be able to implement to reach out to those who never heard about Jesus Christ. The population of India is a billion and a half (as of 2022). Many people in India speak dialects the Bible has not yet been translated into, and they have never heard of God.
Also, there is a good possibility to preach God’s Word in India through the Internet. That is why we are working hard to open a media department in this country where talented people would make videos for YouTube, pagemake a Christian newspaper, leaflets and brochures.
Also, we managed to organize and hold a family conference attended by Christians from Nepal. The locals liked this ministry format. So, they plan to hold family meetings too.
We also shared our experience in conducting eye clinics. However, it is not that easy in India as it is rather difficult to find an ophthalmologist who would agree to help Christians. The Christ is the Answer Ministries has bought all necessary equipment to conduct high-quality eye clinics. We hope and pray for this work to bear good fruit in India and Nepal.
India is a country which imposes restrictions on Christianity. Did you encounter any obstacles during your missionary trip?
As I mentioned before, the Indian authorities are actively defending Hinduism. Any other influence, especially from abroad, is restricted. When a renowned Mother Theresa was serving in India, the situation was different. But time flies and changes everything. For this reason, one of the biggest needs in relation to the Indian people is to pray for God to open doors to preach the Gospel and help the local people.
I happened to watch a video made by eye-witnesses. A young woman was first beaten, then saturated with gasoline and set on fire. Just because she was a Christian. A pastor of an evangelical church was burned in his car together with his sons. Unfortunately, this is the reality of our days.
What impressed you the most during your trip to India?
This was not an easy trip compared to my other trips. On the one hand, I saw fabulous mountains and jungles… I enjoyed riding an elephant, seeing rice fields, tea plantations and fields of pineapples growing like our beets but upside down. On the other hand, I was sad to see so much trash, bad sanitation… Though cows often obstruct traffic, you can’t do anything with that because this animal is considered to be sacred. You can’t hurt it.
The spiritual atmosphere is tough as the Hindu people worship many idols which are backed with demonic influence. You often encounter different temples and chapels. This reminded me of a story from the Bible. The nation chosen by God often stepped away from Him and started worshiping idols. They erected altars and temples for them, worshiped them and brought sacrifices for them. Therefore, the people of Israel experienced many problems. When they left their idols, they were blessed again.
It is difficult for me to realize that such worshiping idols is real nowadays but, unfortunately, this is reality. People worship idols they consider gods, thinking that they protect them from demonic influence. The latter, however, is just the opposite.
It is also difficult to explain to the Hindu people who believed in Jesus Christ that Jesus is the only true God. For many of them the Lord is just one out of many ‘gods’. To believe in Christ and discard one’s own idols is not easy. One can realize the essence of Christianity only through correct understanding of God’s Word.
The Christ is the Answer ministries plans to further support Christians in India. It calls all indifferent people to support this nation in prayer because everyone needs God. He is the only One who can fill life with sense and bless.
Thank you for the interview!
The interview was done by CITA press-center