The idol of lord Murugan sits enthroned on a colorful chariot decorated with many flowers. Around the chariot, Hindu priests smash hundreds of coconuts on the wet streets of Berlin, Germany. The chanting of the devotional songs and the loud bangs of the bursting coconuts mesmerize the crowd of worshipers and tourists. It’s the annual temple festival of the Hindu Tamils (a people group from South India and Sri Lanka) celebrated in the Kreuzberg borough of Berlin.
The statue of the main god of the temple circulates through the streets surrounding the temple. Hindus believe it is a blessing for the people who see it, and for the city and its citizens.
The biggest of such events in Europe takes place in Hamm, a town in North Rhine Westphalia, Germany, where every year around 15,000 Hindu devotees attend the public procession of the goddess Sri Kamadchi.
Germany is home to about 60,000 Tamils, roughly three-fourths of whom are Hindus. Tamils from Sri Lanka have come to Germany since the late 1970s. Their number rose significantly during the violent civil war in Sri Lanka in the mid-1980s.
In addition to the Tamil Hindus, since the 1950s around 40,000 Hindus have come from the Indian states of Kerala, Bengal and Gujarat; many are businessmen, doctors or engineers.
Most Hindus in Germany are still unengaged by the followers of Christ. Fear of the unknown, and lack of information on how to engage with Hindus and people of other world religions, have kept the Body of Christ from reaching out. When the Church will step out boldly in love and humbly embrace their nation’s guests and neighbors, the Lord will surely work in mighty ways.
WAYS TO PRAY:
PRAY FOR the Church in Germany to receive a vision for their unreached neighbors who often live right across the street or next door.
PRAY THAT Jesus would reveal Himself to the very devoted Tamil Hindus in dreams and visions about the true Lord and Master.
PRAY FOR strength, wisdom and open doors for the Indian-origin evangelists and pastors who are faithfully ministering to their own people in Europe.