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An Introduction to Hinduism: Five Basics

An Introduction to Hinduism: Five Basics

Among the least-reached people groups of the world, there are thousands of Hindu communities where Jesus is not yet known or worshiped. These communities are not just in South Asia. The opportunity to see the transforming power of the gospel at work in the hearts of people who have never heard the good news may be as close as your workplace, school or your next-door neighbor.

Here are five things that you might not know about Hinduism. (They’re just a taste of the information and practical tips you’ll find in our Hinduism Booklet!)

1. Hinduism is widely practiced.

Hinduism is the world’s third-largest religion, and its adherents make up more than 15 percent of the world population. That translates to more than a billion people worldwide who need the hope of Christ.

2. Hinduism is global.

Hinduism isn’t limited to South Asia. It has spread and is practiced by devotees throughout the Western world. Hindu ideologies have permeated Western thought and culture, even as this religion’s followers have migrated far from India, the nation of its origin. Hindus might be your neighbors, classmates or colleagues. You have the opportunity to introduce them to the love, peace and hope of Jesus through your life and testimony.

3. Hinduism is inclusive.

Hinduism has no historic founder, no single authoritative text and no doctrinal format. Not only is it known to tolerate other faiths; it has an extraordinary tendency to adopt the beliefs and practices of other religions as its own. Hindus believe in many paths to salvation and numerous manifestations of god, so it isn’t a stretch for many Hindus to include Jesus in their worship. However, believing that Jesus is the only way to salvation is much more difficult.

4. Hinduism has one god and many gods.

Hindus worship an ultimate cosmic force or god called “Brahman.” This force is impersonal and unknowable, but is believed to exist in all things. Many Hindus worship one or many of the manifestations of this ultimate force in many forms of Hindu gods and goddesses.

5. Hinduism is a cycle.

Hinduism embraces a cyclical understanding of time. It teaches that karma, a system of reward or punishment for one’s actions (good or bad), determines the quality of future lifetimes. Those consequences are meted out through “samsara” or lifetimes of reincarnation. The path of the Hindu is to escape the cycle of reincarnation and find salvation, or “moksha,” as the soul eschews its individuality and merges with the singular god-ness of Brahman.

You can learn more in our booklet Hinduism: An Introduction and Guide to Sharing Christ with the Least-Reached . This resource was designed to help you embrace the least-reached Hindus in your community and share Christ with them in an understanding way. It also provides insight into the context and ministry of cross-cultural workers who live in Hindu communities as followers of Christ, seeking to bring His light.

Participate by Praying:

  • Ask the Lord to open the hearts and minds of least-reached Hindus around the world to His good news.
  • Pray for opportunities to share the gospel with Hindu neighbors or friends.
  • Ask for a harvest of new believers and churches to transform the nearly 2,500 least-reached Hindu people groups that are still without a witness of the gospel in their own language, culture or location.

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