Asia Mission Report: India

Jan 13, 2003 12:46 PM EST

Tamil Nadu's Controversial -- anti-conversion law is challenged by India's High Court. The appeal cites the oppression suffered by the Dalits as the reason why the group abandoned Hinduism and embraced other faiths. Bibles For the World's Rochunga Pudaite says there is growing pressure to throw the law out.

"The Christians are really protesting right now. Even the newspapers are protesting, and the leader of the untouchables has been calling this the most undemocratic law that has ever been passed. He has been really protesting against it, too. So, let's pray and join with them, that by the grace of God, the law would be reversed," he said.

"In the law, even providing Bibles is to be considered as inducement. We are working very circumspectly and not doing as much as we had been doing. But, I think the law will be overturned and we will be able to do a much bigger job than we have ever done before."

There has been word of Dalits renouncement of Hinduism. The Dalits, also known as the untouchables in India's caste system, holds great influence over India. Dayspring International's John Gilman urges evangelistic groups to work through this open door.

"We need to be one in our voice to respond to the cry of this huge population of people; to reach out in compassion, not to exploit this moment for personal ministry growth, or our own ambition, but to be very sensitive to their needs."

Gilman says the Dalits are beginning to realize what is true individualism.

"Their first step to freedom is to discover that they can be free after 3500 years of enslavement in this Hindu caste system. The leaders of this movement have talked privately with a number of Christian leaders in India and said that the hope for their people was in the teachings of Jesus Christ and the principles that are found in Scripture."

By Pauline C.