TALIM adapts to persecution in northern India

TALIM adapts to persecution in northern India

TALIM offers courses in discipleship and church planting. Some of the students come from Muslim backgrounds.
(Image, caption courtesy Christian Aid)

India (CAM/MNN) — A ministry center is adapting as persecution rises. Opposition to Christians has grown increasingly violent in northern India. Instead of large-scale evangelistic meetings, indigenous missionaries are building relationships to share the Gospel.

Christian Aid Mission, your link to indigenous missions, helps a training center near Delhi. TALIM, which means “teaching” in Arabic, was started ten years ago by an indigenous ministry that seeks to share the Gospel with Muslims in northern India.

“We realize discipleship is very important, and we want to do it right,” said Prakash,* the ministry’s founder. “We want to stress learning the Word of God and having a working knowledge of the Koran.”

Anti-conversion laws and increasingly violent opposition to Christianity have forced the ministry to change its evangelistic methods.

“Twenty years ago we did large-scale open air evangelism. I was never thrown out of a community,” Prakash explains. “Today, it is almost impossible to hold an open air event.

“Persecution from Muslims and Hindus against Christians continues to rise.”

Building relationships and winning the trust of villagers is a more effective approach today. The missionaries live and work in the villages. As they interact and become “one of them,” the believers find opportunities to share the Gospel.

Meeting physical needs is another important part of their outreach. To combat high infant mortality rates, TALIM helps run a child development center in a rural village. At the center, young mothers attend seminars and receive emotional support as they care for their families. The ministry also operates literacy centers in some of Delhi’s slums.

Prakash’s goal is to place missionary teams in dozens of cities throughout northern India. Over the last decade, they have planted 100 house churches.

TALIM (Telling About Living Messiah)
India is home to the second-largest Muslim population in the world–an estimated 176 million people and growing. Many are concentrated in the northern part of the country, where TALIM focuses its outreach efforts among 14 people groups in five states.

The program is designed to give future missionaries and church leaders both practical and theoretical training in leading Muslims to Christ. The ministry provides meals, accommodations, and course materials for students.

TALIM’s curriculum includes courses in discipleship, Bible discovery, Christian ethics, stewardship, evangelism, and church planting. Students meet for seminars every other month, and then they teach 10 or more people that same course in their local house churches.

Supplemental classes in income-generating and English language studies help Gospel workers find a means to support themselves financially while they serve with the ministry.

Since 1953, Christian Aid has served as a communications link between U.S. churches and indigenous missionary ministries based in poorer countries overseas. Through Christian Aid, TALIM is requesting funding to buy a used four-wheel drive vehicle ($10,000), as well as bicycles for their Gospel workers.

Support is also needed for the TALIM training program; the cost for one trainee is about $100 per month. Help meet some of these financial needs here.

*(all names changed for security reasons)