India (MNN) — Almost 25
years after the world's worst industrial disaster, the "Hiroshima of the
Chemical Industry," hundreds of thousands of people still suffer.
42 tons of toxic methyl
isocyanine (MIC) leaked from the Union Carbide pesticide plant in Bhopal, India
on December 3, 1984. Over 500,000 people
were exposed to it, and 8,000-10,000 died in the first 72 hours.
Since then, over 25,000 people
have died of related diseases, and many suffer from blindness, lung diseases,
and cancer. Union Carbide left the
region without cleaning up the chemical waste and the poisoned water.
Today, Bhopal's 1.5 million
residents not only live with the environmental fallout of the tragedy, they
also live with religious conflict between Hindus and Muslims. The different religions fling accusations
back and forth, and spreading the Gospel is forbidden.
Nevertheless, an indigenous partner of Partners
International is making a difference in the area. Pastor Ravi of Evangelism Mission Outreach
Service (EMOS) leads church-planting, micro-enterprise, and children's
ministries in Bhopal.
The ministry has planted nine
churches in the area, and seven other areas have shown interest in the church–among them two slums. Women benefit from
EMOS's sewing groups, handicrafts, and literacy ministries.
EMOS is an indigenous
church-planting movement that works to bring the Gospel to the unreached
peoples of India: to the poor and rich, oppressed and oppressor. Its goal is to bring both spiritual
transformation and social reformation to India.