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India

ACTS Bihar, India

Director for ACTS Bihar:  Deepak Lepcha

Why Bihar?

Bihar is the stronghold of the major religions of the world:

  • 75% of Bihar's population adheres to Hinduism. Patna has a number of key centers of Hinduism.
  • Muslims represent 14.5% of Bihar's population.
  • Siddharta Gautama, the founder of Buddhism, attained enlightenment in Bihar. Bodhgaya in Bihar is the greatest pilgrim center in the world for Buddhists.
  • Mahavira, the founder of Jainism was born and attained Nirvana in Bihar.
  • The tenth and the last Guru of the Sikhs, Guru Gobind Singh was born and attained sainthood in Bihar.
  • The Ganges River that runs through Bihar is considered by Hindus effective for the cleansing of their sins.

Bihar has traditionally been known as the graveyard of missions since the arrival of the first Baptist missionaries in 1792. Despite over 200 years of missionary endeavors, Bihar's 90 million people are living in over 40,000 villages without a church. The most recent movement of God through BORN (Bihar Out Reach Network) which is a network of mission agencies and churches to penetrate Bihar with the gospel and to plant churches is slowing turning the graveyard into a vineyard. But much remains to be done.

OFFICIAL NAME

Republic of India

GEOGRAPHY

Southern Asia, bordering the Arabian Sea and the Bay of Bengal, between Burma and Pakistan

AREA

3,287,590 sq km / 1,269,338 sq miles

COMPARATIVE

larger than one-third the size of the United States

POPULATION

1,000,000,000

CAPITAL

New Delhi

LITERACY

64% (age 15+ and can read and write)

LANGUAGE

17 major languages, 844 dialects

RELIGION

Hindu - 80%
Muslim - 14%
Christian - 2.4%
Sikh - 2% Buddhist - 0.7% Jains - 0.5%
Other - 0.4%

POLITICS

Sovereign, Socialist, Secular, Democratic Republic, Parliamentary, based on universal adult franchise

INCOME

Per capita income = US$ 1,220 per year

CURRENCY

Indian Rupee (Rs)

TIME ZONE

GMT/UTC +5.5

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