Dalits ("Untouchables") in a village in Orissa, India, were recently driven from their homes by upper-caste families. Their "crime"? Refusing to beat drums daily as part of an ancestral religious practice. Incited at the simple refusal of these Dalits as they stood up for their rights, upper-caste villagers assaulted two Dalit families and plundered their homes.
Read about a group of Dalits who meet with great eagerness to learn more of the Savior—in the same village where the two Dalit families were driven from their homes.Sadly for Asia's millions of Dalits, such treatment is simply part of life. But as they hear about the love of Jesus, God is working in amazing ways among these oppressed people.Thank you for your love and prayers for Asia's precious Dalits, so dear to the heart of our heavenly Father.
Yours for the lost of Asia, K.P. Yohannan Founder & President gfa.org
Hungry to know more about Jesus, a good number of Dalits in a village in Orissa, India, have been attending a fellowship group led by two Gospel for Asia missionaries. And because of Jesus, many of these Dalits are experiencing wonderful transformation in their lives! However, a recent instance of caste-related intimidation has fostered an especially tense atmosphere in the village, and some have been afraid to continue attending.
The incident took place when members of two Dalit families refused to beat drums every day as part of a religious ceremony at a temple in the area.
When the two families refused to continue the tradition of playing drums, they incited the anger of the local high-caste community. Several villagers barged in and plundered the homes of these two families, pushing and shoving them roughly. The families were driven from their homes.
Several months later, the atmosphere in the village is still tense.
Orissa is known for its persecution of Christians. This is the place where missionary Graham Staines and his two sons were martyred. Police in the area are keeping a critical eye on those GFA missionaries sharing the Good News in the village, as rumors have been circulating that Dalits are being converted through allurement, or promise of benefits.
But for these Dalits and others who are hearing the Good News of Jesus, the decision to receive and follow Christ is a choice they make. In the midst of their oppression and the very real sense of being trampled by caste oppression, they are finding hope and joy in a Savior who cherishes them and knows them by name.
GFA leaders request prayer for the Dalit drummers and for those who have stopped attending the fellowship group out of fear. They also request prayer for the two missionaries as they faithfully minister in this area. Please pray that the Christians involved in this situation will be strengthened.
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And when they were come to Capernaum, they that received tribute money came to Peter, and said, Doth not your master pay tribute? He saith, Yes. And when he was come into the house, Jesus prevented him, saying, What thinkest thou, Simon? of whom do the kings of the earth take custom or tribute? of their own children, or of strangers? Peter saith unto him, Of strangers. Jesus saith unto him, Then are the children free. (Matthew 17:24-26)