The famine in 1950 changed Ramesh Chand Kanchan’s father forever. The lifeline of the Dholpur district is agriculture, and this famine hit them hard. When British missionaries came to their rescue and provided food and clothing, this service of love brought many into Christ’s fold. Unfortunately, in time many of them went back to following their old belief system, but Ramesh’s father maintained his faith until the day he left for his heavenly abode. As a result of his father’s unwavering faith, Ramesh is now a strong Christian, in spite of the many persecutions he underwent in his attempts to bring the Gospel to their region. In the face of all such opposition, Ramesh and three more families continued in their faith in Christ, motivated by the same convictions their parents stood for, and many turned to Christ between 1970 and 1990. Many Christian schools have been set up and many changes have occurred since then. But prior to this, a Catholic priest, a few Baptist missionaries, and Protestant missionaries - all had come one after the other, and all left as they could not stand the severe persecution that came against their work. Vraja Bhoomi is the area between northeastern Uttar Pradesh and eastern Rajasthan where Braj Bhasha is spoken. Many people groups such as Chamar, Dhobi, Mali, Koli, Gujar, Kanjar, and Meena speak Braj Bhasha. Among them, Kanjar is the most unreached by the gospel. Most of the Braj speakers are Hindus and Muslims. Less than 0.01% are Christians. A recent estimate suggests that there are only ten churches existing in this region. Unfortunately, Christianity is still considered a foreign religion, and anyone who comes to Christ is stigmatized by the community. Another common trend is that many people come to Christ, but then easily turn back from their Christian faith. As early as the 14th Century, much literature was written in Braj. Hindu saints, including Surdas and Tulsidas, wrote in Braj about worship and devotion to their deities. Even Rabindranath Tagore wrote poetry entitled Bhanusimha Thakurer Padabali, originally under a pseudonym. It is also said that Braj Bhasha is the main language of Hindusthani classical music composition. It can be noted that apart from religious literature, there is not much other literature. Is it time for the message of Christ also to be written in Braj?
Population: 574,245 (5 lakhs in Rajasthan,census 2001).