Satish Kumar pastors a 300,000 member church in Hyderabad, India, and plans to open 40 more mega churches in the next 10 years.
That’s good news for Christianity, not only because India’s 1.4 billion population is mostly Hindu and Muslim. It’s also good because India is poised to surpass China as a world power, and it could play a leading role in a revival preceding the Lord’s return.
“God’s hand is upon India. It’s a time for India to reach the lost not only within the country but across the globe,” says Satish on a CBN video. “It’s my passion, my burden, that before I die, I want to see every Indian hear the gospel and know the Savior.”
Currently, only 2% of India is Christian, while 80% are Hindu and 14% are Muslim. Satish’s vision is to target the unreached, and beyond India’s borders into Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan and the Gulf Countries.
But the growth of the Christian church has provoked a backlash from militant Hindus who argue that Christians “force” Hindus to convert. In recent years, acts of violence and arson have been perpetrated against Christians.
No matter, says Satish, formerly a Hindu himself. “The more the persecution, the more the church grows. That’s what’s happening in India.”
Satish preaches at all five services starting at 6:00 a.m. on Sunday. By 4:00 a.m., people are already vying for spots in his 18,000-seat sanctuary (and overflow halls of 15,000 and 3,000). There are currently 11 satellite churches. Plans are underway to build 40 more.
Three thousand new believers are added to the church each month. One of those was Nagavalli Mendem, who says she was healed without medical treatment of a cancerous tumor in her chest cavity.
Nagavalli now volunteers among the 150 helpers who prepare meals to feed 50,000 breakfasts, lunches, and dinners to church-goers.
“As a thanksgiving to him, I serve in the kitchen,” she says.
The head of the kitchen volunteers is a civil engineer by the name of Narayana Podhili. “We are committed every Sunday from 3:30 am and keep working until the evening,” he says.
On its sprawling campus, Calvary Temple also has a hospital to meet the needs of the church, dispensing medicines that poor people couldn’t otherwise afford.
Calvary Temple produces 650 television programs in 17 of India’s languages each month, which are broadcast on national television. Millions follow on social media.
“Preaching the pure word of God is what attracts people,” Satish says. “Practicing the word of God is what keeps people.”
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About the writer of this article: Milo Haskour studies at Lighthouse Christian Academy in Los Angeles.