India is a country with over a billion people. A nation and a people with a rich cultural heritage. A land with a great history of ancient civilization, rulers and emperors. It has hundreds of different people groups and 1652 languages. 80% of these people are Hindus and tribal, 14% Muslims, 4% Christians, 2% Buddhist and Sikhs. Most of the people live in rural areas. Though there are many large cities with over a million population where a lot of rich and upper class western influenced people live. Each of these people groups has their own traditions beliefs and norms. They also have different kinds of food, clothing, music and dances. Due to the large number of gods in India, there are lots of religious related celebrations throughout the year.
India is also one of the largest movie making nation in the world. It produces more movies than Hollywood. Movies and TV serials are very popular in India and have a strong influence on family, children, youth and society. The people idolize the actors and actresses of the Indian Film and Television industry. Reenacting stories from real life situations or the religious epics in the form of drama is also a very popular thing among the India people.
The colonization of India by the British, French and the Portuguese left a negative impression on the Indian people towards the ‘white man’ and his Christian religion. Since Christianity was looked upon as a western religion , accepting it was also a betrayal and rejection of ones own Indian identity, which is rooted in their religion, traditions and life styles.
Overall, there are very few resources or in many cases none that are available in India to communicate the gospel of Jesus to people in contextualized and appropriate ways. Many do not have proper resources to help them in the work that they do. The literacy rate in the country is approximately 60%. Literature that’s used in sharing the gospel becomes less effective when a large portion of the population do not read or write. Thus, making the art and media, that is audio/visual communication, an effective tool in reaching the people of India with the gospel in a cultural appropriate way.