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Archive for March, 2013

Rampant “Untouchability” Continues

March 22nd, 2013 Comments off
Woman

When Dalits find Christ, they find a freedom they have never known.

 

High incidents of discrimination against Dalits have led a government survey to label hundreds of villages in Tamil Nadu, India, “atrocity-prone.” For Raji, a Dalit woman in Tamil Nadu, a polio vaccination represented her own personal atrocity.

According to the online newspaper theindian.com, when Raji took her baby son to get a free, government-sponsored immunization “meant to cut across caste and religion to eradicate polio,” she was turned away. Her baby did eventually get the vaccine—at the command of police after local media brought attention to her situation.

But that was not the only “atrocity” to touch Raji’s life. Her family was among four Dalit families to receive land from the government. However, the village elders pressured the four families to turn the land over for village use, which they refused to do. In retaliation, the members of higher castes in the village made life miserable for the families, even blocking them from taking water from the village well.

Widespread numbers of Dalits can relate to Raji’s experiences. In spite of attempts to end the caste system, it remains deeply ingrained in daily culture.

Reminiscent of America’s days of segregation, theindian.com also reported that the “double tumbler system,” in which tea shops keep drinking glasses for Dalits separate from those used by upper castes, is still common.

The detailed report of how “ Untouchability ” manifests itself in Tamil Nadu is representative of the attitude throughout India and nearby countries. While millions of people are still looked down on as less than human, Gospel for Asia missionaries press on to bring them the Good News that Jesus values them enough to give His life to save them.

 

This article was originally published by Gospel for Asia. To learn more about Gospel for Asia, click here.

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“We will burn you like Graham Staines”

March 8th, 2013 Comments off
House Burned

This Orissa church building was attacked by anti-Christian extremists in 2007.

Two young women from a Gospel for Asia Bible college were chased and threatened by 70 anti-Christian extremists after conducting a worship service in Orissa, India. Chunile Wyn and Preeja Sushan are student missionaries serving their internships in Orissa.

On Sunday, the extremists entered the building where the women were worshipping with 15 other believers. The radicals carried sticks and stones, but the Christians escaped the church unharmed.

However, Chunile and Preeja were still in the building, and the anti-Christians surrounded them and shouted threats.

“We will burn you alive like Graham Staines and his children!” they shouted at the women. Graham Staines, an Australian missionary in Orissa, was burned to death in 1999. Religious extremists set fire to the vehicle Staines and his two young sons were sleeping in, killing them all.

The extremists eventually let the women out of the church, but then chased them through the streets until the girls found a phone booth. Chunile and Preeja called their Bible college, and a pastor came to protect them. By the time he arrived, the extremist crowd had dispersed, leaving only threats that the women must never come back to their village.

Chunile and Preeja request prayer that they can continue their internships without fear. They also ask for prayer that the anti-Christians will realize Christ’s love for them and stop hindering the Gospel. Also lift up the district pastor in this area, that he will be able to stand strong and encourage the local believers.

 

 

This article was originally published by Gospel for Asia. To learn more about Gospel for Asia, click here.

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