Dalits not free to make commitment to Christ

By July 12, 2004

India (MNN) — The Dalits in India for centuries have been known as the untouchables. They’re the class of Indian people that receive the worst jobs, the worst pay and few privileges. However, they’ve always been known as Hindus.

That began to change with the Dalits rejecting Hinduism a few years ago. But, according to Bobby Gupta of HBI Global Partners, few have turned to Christ. “The moment they changed the religion from Hinduism to Christianity they lost their benefits, they lost their jobs. They lost the privilege of their children from going to school. It was an effort by the government to make India a Hindu nation.”

They rose up against that policy and ousted the Hindu nationalists from power. Gupta says, “There is a rising movement among the Dalits, and also among the Muslims and the Christians to ask the government of India to withdraw and to create an environment where they can actually make that choice without losing their benefits.”

With the Congress Party firmly in power, Gupta is praying it will take up this issue and change the policy. He says, “We’re hoping this new government will pick up that agenda and say, ‘no we’re going to bring an end to it.’ This will give us total freedom for people to choose their religious choices.”

He says the government can pave the way for total religious freedom. “And, if they pave that way, we would truly see a large number of people come in large groups into the church of Jesus Christ and that growth with be phenomenal,” Gupta says.

Pray that their voices will be heard and that God would move in the hearts of government leaders to make this change.

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