Dalit Christians in India need prayer as court decision is looming

By August 24, 2005

India (MNN) — Dalit Christians are expected to be in India’s Supreme Court tomorrow, pleading for equal rights under India’s affirmative action law.

Currently, Dalits are given certain rights to education, work, and other essentials as Hindus. However, Operation Mobilization’s India Director Peter Dance says, “If he becomes a Christian, he immediately loses that. Muslim Dalits don’t lose it. The Sikh Dalits don’t lose, etcetera, etcetera. Therefore, that has kept a lot of Dalits from publicly deciding to become Christians, though there are a lot of secret Christians.”

Dalit Christians are asking the nation’s highest court to overturn this law, says Dance. “They’ve put a proposal to the government to debate whether this is constitutional. And so, on Thursday, that’s what they’re going to debate and probably make a decision on whether it should be investigated before they go any further.”

This has been proposed before, but only allowed by the Congress Party, which beat out the Hindu party known as the BJP in the last election.

Dance expects the investigation to be approved and is praying that the law will be overturned. Once that happens, “A lot of Christians who, up until now, have not made any public profession will actually come out of the closet, so to speak, and say ‘yes, we’re Christians,’ because, right now, if they do come out or if they put it on the census paper, they’re harassed because of it.” He also believes that testimony will lead to other Dalits to Christ.

Operation Mobilization is asking believers to continue to pray for Christians in India as persecution continues. As more and more Dalits fight against the caste system and turn to Christ for answers, persecution will get even worse.

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