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The Pandemic Lockdown Is a Godsend for the Indian Church

COVID-19 took away our usual Easter. But I believe it could also spark the first revival in India in a century.

As India continues its attempt at the world’s biggest social isolation effort to halt the new coronavirus outbreak, millions are struggling to navigate weeks of canceled public transit, closed businesses, and forbidden Sunday services.

Many smaller churches have their attendees join the live-streams of larger churches. Our own sunrise service on Easter, conducted on Zoom, drew 250 people—despite its 5 a.m. start.

After greeting Christians and praising “Lord Christ" in Good Friday and Easter tweets, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced this week his decision to extend the lockdown until May 3, due to the lack of widespread testing for the virus as the death toll rises.

However, despite all the disruption and our inability to worship together as usual, I believe the pandemic lockdown has been God-sent in many ways for the church in India.

Two things were happening before the pandemic hit. First, the church was being squeezed (pressured to close from all directions, and criticized by the national media), smashed (physically attacked), and sliced (concerted efforts made by outsiders to divide through a religious political agenda). The Evangelical Fellowship of India documented 366 attacks against Christians in 2019. Open Doors has ranked India in its top 10 countries where it’s hardest to be a Christian for two years in a row.

Second, because of this opposition there has been a prayer movement that resulted in great unity among the national Christian community. Churches have begun to overlook their historical denominational divisions, bringing India to the cusp of revival. There has been news of breakthroughs in the work of the Holy Spirit among previously unreached places and people groups. And in …

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