India (MNN) — The long-awaited Supreme Court decision that would grant affirmative action rights to Dalit Christians has been postponed.
Operation Mobilization's Peter Dance says, "It keeps coming to the desk of the Supreme Court there in India. Every few months when it comes to the table, they keep delaying it…hoping that we'll go away. But Christians aren't going to go away."
This is another blow to Dalit believers. Last month the National Commission for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (NCSC/ST) rejected the demand for affirmative-action benefits for Dalit Christians and Muslims. The committee denied the need for the benefits on the grounds that "untouchability," the main criteria for the benefits, only affected Hindu Dalits who are considered untouchables.
This type of discrimination is compounded by anti-conversion legislation that's being imposed in various states and the physical abuse inflicted on Christians. According to Dance, OM is helping national believers draw attention to it. "We're actually taking various issues to court. In other words, [we're] challenging these laws and making sure the police follow through judicially to the abuse, though it be murder, beating up, or otherwise violating people — particularly women."
The increasing amounts of persecution has forced OM to change the way they share the Gospel. Dance says, "We used to do a lot more open-air evangelism. However, we don't do that any more. We do a lot more films, and also we use a lot of Christian literature. It's a lot more personal."