This post is in conjunction with The 40 Day Fast. Today is my scheduled day (in team one) to write about an area of need in the world (either a cause or a country) and an organization that strives to meet that need. What I am writing about is somewhat hard to grasp and understand, but I hope you can get the gist and maybe take a moment to pray and decide to help in any way you can. Thanks! (Click here for team two’s post).
“We were busy for the last five days with an atrocity taken place on Dalits, in a village. I am preparing a report on this that will shed tears. One person was killed and ten people were hospitalized with severe wounds. Two people are fighting with death in the hospital. Today we have conducted mass agitation demanding the arrest of the culprits. So far 30 upper caste people were arrested. Dalits are in Social boycott and starving. Sent requests for relief program to distribute rice to the families. Let us see how God responds.” – Dr. Christopher Premdas, New Life Children’s Home (Westside’s Indian Orphanage)
Sometimes it’s easy to be relatively unaffected when we read horrific accounts from faraway lands. It hardly seems possible that it’s really happening. But it is real. The Hindu Caste system gives no hope to the approximately 250 million people in India and about 20% of the population of Nepal.
If you have a moment, please watch the video below (if not, just keep reading). But the video (warning, may be graphic to some viewers) shows just how destructive (and messed-up) the Caste system really is. Exposing the horrific plight of India’s 170 million Dalits: literally “the broken people”, and previously called “the untouchables”; who are at the bottom of India’s caste system and are some of the most oppressed people on Earth. Economic growth has done little to improve the Dalits’ lot; despite legislation, they still form 60% of all those below the poverty line.
Brahmin priests believe that Dalits/Shudras came from the feet of the god Brahma and therefore ‘feet’, as in nature must remain only feet in relation to the rest of the body, and were created only to serve the upper parts of the body. It is said this Brahma (god) designed these “untouchables” to have only one duty: to bear the burdens (or the exploitations) of the whole upper body. Manusmirti a Hindu scripture says, ‘Sri Brahman has intended from eternity that the untouchables should be born as slaves, live as slaves, and die as slaves.’ chapter 19, sloka 413.
However, millions of Indian and Nepalian people are groaning to be freed in India and Nepal. They still need to hear that ‘Jesus has the living water, whoever comes to Him, never thirsts again.’ That Christ Jesus brought the gift of salvation from sins and defilements, and has come to set those oppressed by legalism free from it’s tyranny, by grace through faith in Him as their personal Savior.
As Christians, let us not limit that gift to ourselves only but let’s share it with the people who are wandering in search of it.
He does not drive us out of temples, out from His people or forbids us to walk in certain streets of His ‘high caste’ people. But He Himself enters the villages belonging to the untouchables (as the Samaritans were to the Jews). He does not fear being called the Friend of sinners, but has come that sinners may repent and be saved from sin.
Jesus wants to do the same in India, Nepal and even where you live. Friends, can we take action through going to visit those in their time of need? Or by praying? or by financially supporting them?
Compassion International exists as a Christian child advocacy ministry that releases children from spiritual, economic, social and physical poverty and enables them to become responsible, fulfilled Christian adults. Sponsoring children in need is breaking the cycle of poverty!
Sponsor an Indian child today.
James 1:27 “Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to care orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world.”
awesome crystal. i wrote a post about dalits last week after I had read some of the posts on the god’s politics blog about them. very heart breaking. i’m still considering and praying about how I can make a difference. One of my co workers has a daughter who is in India working with Dalits right now. She is with an organization called OM which stands for something I can’t remember.
Anyway, loved your post.
I have no words….I’ve read about the caste system but I’d never seen any video about it until now.
“The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed,” – Luke 4:18
This is how Jesus announced His ministry, and it is what you are begging for the people of India. Thank you for praying for them, and I will be praying for you today.
Beautifully written. Horrid situation!
Thanks for letting us know about it. I had never heard before now.
I’m praying for you today.
Thank you for sharing your heart.
I couldn’t believe when I heard about the Caste system. I am glad that there are people doing something to help the Dalit people.
Thank you for being a part of the 40 day fast.
That video is absolutely horrible. I can’t even imagine some of the situations described in it.
Wow. There are some things I just don’t understand.
Thank you for bringing up the Dalits. A people group very dear to my heart- and even more so to Gods.
Every spec of time/efforts/words/prayer/support we offer to the Dalit people, the closer they get to freedom. KEEP ON!!
I come from a scheduled caste (dalit) family in Karnataka and I was quite amused to read your article. First, you’re doing a good job highlighting inhumane practices. Thanks for that. However, I have 2 issues with your post.
1 – The West has always rightfully criticized Indian society for the caste system while ignoring that other religions like christianity, islam, and i’d think judaism as well propagated a much worse evil – slavery. So lets not hide that fact. Slavery was strongest in this country in the southern bible belt. The middle east was the last region of the world to abolish slavery. islam officially allows slave women to be raped. A religion like Buddhism is different, but the middle eastern religions are no better.
2 – Although I’m dalit, I got into a top engineering school in India (through an affirmative action program that reserves spots for backward people) and now lead a very successful career. A lot needs to be done but the lot of my people is definitely better than most underprivileged classes of society in most countries. India’s first law minister in 1947 was a dalit who also helped frame the constitution. how many african americans drafted the US constitution? India has had dalit presidents. we’re still waiting for a black president here.
don’t get me wrong. I really admire this country for what it is. But it has become so great because of secularism and separation of church and state, not because of religion, but in spite of it.
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