Population: 5 million (city); 14.5 million (metro area)
State: West Bengal
Significance: 3rd largest metro area in India
Kolkata is a well-known Indian city that serves as the commercial and cultural hub for eastern India. From 1772 until 1911, the city was known as Calcutta, the capital of British India. Today it is a city of contrasts, with massive slums and crowded streets along with luxury shopping malls and five-star hotels.
Writers, musicians and artists are plentiful in Kolkata, where the literacy rate is above the national average. It’s Bengali hospitality, cultural history and popular street food make it a favorite for many travelers.
Kolkata is the city where William Carey, the father of modern missions, brought the gospel to people in their own language. Despite Christianity’s long history in Kolkata, the city is only about 0.8 percent Christian. Also, like most of India, Hindus make up the majority of the population. For Hindus, Kolkata is a city ruled by the Hindu goddess Kali, who is the goddess of destruction. Temples dedicated to Kali abound in the city. Also, most Hindus in Kolkata worship the goddess regularly.
Pray for the small number of Christians in Kolkata to reach out and share the gospel with the lost in their city.
Pray for those who live in fear of gods and goddesses to hear of the God who created them and loves them. Also, ask that they will know him as the One True God.
Video above created by the International Mission Board. It originally appeared on IMB South Asian Peoples’ website. For more visit www.southasianpeoples.imb.org.