Thank you for joining us in prayer for Dr. Manohar James from India.
India, the world’s largest democracy, is home to over 1.38 billion people, 80% of whom are Hindus. Rising Hindu nationalism in recent years has troubled religious minorities, including Muslims (14% of the population) and Christians (2%). The May 2019 landslide reelection of Narendra Modi, Indian Prime Minister and leader of the ruling Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata party, has exacerbated fears and escalated discrimination against non-Hindus. Recent violence targeting Muslims in New Delhi left over 40 people dead.
Manohar served as a missionary to Himachal Pradesh in North India and taught at Mission India Theological Seminary in Nagpur (Central India) before pursuing a PhD. SCHOLARLEADERSsupported his doctoral research in Intercultural Studies at Asbury Theological Seminary (KY). At Asbury, Manohar delved into the history of the Nyogi Report (a document often cited by Hindu nationalists in support of anti-conversion laws) and the roots of anti-Christian sentiments in India.
In 2012, Manohar and his wife Jasmine founded Serving Alongside International/Redeem India to train pastors from rural communities to share the gospel and lead churches more effectively in the face of persecution. Drawing from his PhD research and experiences in the mission field, Manohar developed courses on theology and contextual missions to help Christian leaders understand the background of Hindu nationalism and anti-Christian stereotypes, so they can respond biblically and wisely. Learn more about Manohar’s leadership journey, as well as his distinctive approach to Hindu nationalist persecution and “re-conversion” efforts, here.
Manohar shares the following message:
It has been a while since you’ve heard from us. As some of you know, my wife Jasmine and I prayed 11 years for our first child. Our first child, Jason Abhishek, is now 6 years old and he is in first grade. In December of 2018, the Lord blessed us again with another son, Jonathan Akshay. He turned one recently and is healthy.
India and Our Ministry
Eighty percent of the rural pastors in India, especially non-denominational or non-affiliated church planters and pastors, have very little knowledge of the Word of God because they enter ministry with no theological training or in-depth bible knowledge. They seldom have a spiritual mentor. With great passion, faith, and hard work, they successfully plant churches, but are not able to nourish new believers in the Word, since they cannot offer what they do not possess. They are desperately looking for someone to equip them in the knowledge of Scripture and contextualization, so that they can effectively lead their congregations and plant more churches.
Since 2011, when we first realized that the solution to the Indian Church’s problem of biblical illiteracy lay in the systematic training of its leaders, we decided to help underprivileged pastors through training seminars. Through Serving Alongside International (also known as Redeem India Ministries), a non-profit we started in 2012, we have annually trained 1,000-1,200 pastors in various states of India.
In July and August of 2019, the Lord helped us to equip 874 pastors in four Indian states through several one and two-day theological seminars. M.V. Raju, who attended one of our seminars last year, said, “This seminar has made me to think better. It has changed my life in some way. It helps me to become a good shepherd for God’s flock. From now on I will spend a good amount of time in exegeting the Word in micro and macro contexts, and seek the help of the Holy Spirit.” We hear similar testimonials from hundreds of attendees. We are also humbled to see many people turning to Christ through the various outreach programs and philanthropic activities of Serving Alongside International.
Our Prayer Needs
We are praying as we train about 1,000 pastors in four different regions of India on the topics of Church Ministry Management and Understanding Bible Difficulties. These seminars began on February 24 and will conclude on March 17.
Please pray that the training seminars will be a blessing to pastors and church planters.
Pray for traveling mercies, health, and safety for Nic Gibson and me while serving in India.
Please pray for the unmet financial needs of these seminars.