India sits high atop the list of unreached people groups, and other nations are not even close to their number. The Joshua Project lists India #1 with 2,135 Unreached People Groups (UPGs) representing a massive 1.34 billion unreached peoples. Pakistan is a distant second with 828 UPGs equaling 232 million people, less than one-fifth of the unreached in India.
While India is well-known among those who are burdened for UPGs, Bihar is not. Bihar, a state in northeast India bordering Nepal, has India’s 2nd highest population. Sadly 99.4% of Bihar is classified as unreached. It’s one of the neediest regions on earth with over 129 million souls who have never heard the Good News.
Not only is it one of the darkest regions of the globe, but it is also one of the more dangerous. During a recent trip to India, I asked several national pastors about Bihar. No one knew of anyone ministering and making disciples there. When I asked why, everyone replied the same, “It’s too dangerous!”
Bihar is 84% Hindu and 16% Muslim. Opposition to Christianity can be intense. Recent laws outlawing proselytization lead officials and the general public to view missionaries as terrorists. These challenges require serious consideration and much prayer, but the doors remain open.
Research with a few laborers serving in the region reveal that fruit among men is extremely rare but women and children are more receptive. Studies also show that women laborers face much less opposition.
Bihar is not forgotten. ODBM is praying, burdened, and working to shine Gospel light in the intense darkness. Names and details cannot be shared but we are thankful to serve those willing to endure great hardship and to faithfully serve in this uttermost region. We rejoice that women and children are being taught the Good News. Fruit is rare and small, but we praise God for those working with expectation of a great harvest. Pray for Bihar!