Monday, July 09, 2007

India's Hidden Slavery

There are approximately 250,000,000 creatures, made in the image and likeness of God, who are outcastes (literately) in India today. Caste may be officially illegal in the world's largest democracy, but it is a cruel daily reality for the Dalits (doll-leets), who are considered lower than than the lowest caste (the Sudras). (Dalit is the name that those called "the untouchables" have given to themselves. It means "the crushed.") Most of the world ignores this ancient and systemic evil. Hinduism has perpetuated it for 3,000 years. The Dalit Freedom Network does not.

On Saturday, July 14, from 6:30-8:30, a new film will be premiered call "India's Hidden Slavery." Dr. Joseph D'souza, head of the Dalit Freedom Network, will also speak. This will be held at Cherry Hills Community Church, 3900 E. Grace Blvd. Highlands Ranch, CO, 80126. You can get more information at http://www.dalitnetwork.org/. There will also be an appeal for funds.

Two of my dear students are now working in India to help the Dalits spiritually and economically under the auspices of The Dalit Freedom Network. I support them and plan to attend this important film. I encourage those in the Denver area to do so as well. Face the reality--and do something godly about it.

5 comments:

Fletcher said...

Doug:

Chelle and I are sitting out on the back porch enjoying our freedom and the beautiful weather. I just described the Dalits situation to her and she is heartbroken. We have to react... as followers of Jesus (who taught more about the least, last, and lost than any other subject) we cannot keep sitting here in our comfortable American lives and do nothing knowing that the Dalit are taught that they are worthless.

We can't make the movie Saturday because of a family commitment in Colorado Springs, but we will surely begin supporting a Dalit ministry... I can't think of something more valuable ministry to support. These people need to know that they aren't the equivelant of cattle (which are worshipped in Hinduism right.. ) so, OK, they aren't LESS THAN cows, that they are loved by God - and that they were created in His image, and that we are all created equally.

I heard JP Moreland teaching on being created equally last night and his daughter brought up the question: "Why do you think we were created equally? Some are rich, some are poor, some are smart, some are not, some are healthy, some are sick," and so on.

Moreland explained to her that this equality comes from our intrinsic value of having been created in God's image with an eternal soul.

The Dalit need to know that. They need to know of God's grace and His love for them. They need to be set free by the truth in Jesus.

Douglas Groothuis said...

Five Dalits were recently killed for skinning a cow to eat. A Hindu said that the cow was of more worth than the five Dalits. Things can get that bad there.

Yossman said...

I am very glad to read this post. I have been aware of the plight of the Dalits for some time and am myself supporting them on an on and off basis.

Joseph D'Souza is a person I can wholeheartedly recommend. I know him from my time with Operation Mobilization. He is a man of God.

I do not know the exact details of the story, but not too long ago about one million Dalits decided they were going to convert to either Buddhism or Christianity as they came to the realization that Hinduism hasn't offered them anything (rather: less than nothing).

It is in the context of this people movement that Joseph D'Sousa and his Dalit Freedom Network try to step in. They try to provide education etc. realizing that the Dalits are looking for a religion that 'works'.

We, resourceful Christians in the West, have a genuine opportunity here to show that Christ loves them and that in Christ there is liberation from slavery.

Please support the Dalits!

nancy said...

A friend of mine recently accompanied a Cherry Hills group that traveled to India to provide medical and dental services. Her stories wrenched my heart. She spoke not of the untouchables, but the unseeables who only came out at night and who's job it was to remove the dead carcasses (human) from the roads. Thank you for raising the awareness!

janice said...

Many, many heartfelt thanks to you and your students for spreading the word that hundreds of thousands of people dearly loved by God are no only lost, but believe themselves to be hated by God. It is a lie we hope to correct!