Dalit's - The Full Story
On Sunday, Nov. 4, 2001, about 1 million of India's 300 million Dalits ("untouchables") will meet at a rally in the Indian capital of New Delhi to renounce Hinduism en masse. Tens of millions of Dalits across the country are expected to follow their lead in coming months.
Will the Dalits have an opportunity to embrace Christianity?
Yes, Rochunga Pudaite, president of Bibles for the World, himself an "untouchable" born in the northeastern Indian state of Manipur, will speak at the Dalit rally to present the gospel.
How did this come about?
Christians in India, influenced by 3,000 years of casteism, were initially skeptical about taking in thousands of Dalit converts. Then Pudaite appealed to dynamic 43-year-old Dalit leader Ram Raj and asked him to come to Colorado Springs, Colo., to learn more about Christianity. Raj agreed, listened attentively and invited Pudaite to speak at the rally.
How will the gospel be presented?
Bibles for the World will distribute 1 million New Testaments and Gospels of John-some printed in seven languages-to those at the event along with the new book, The Quest for Freedom and Dignity, written by respected Indian intellectual Vishal Mangalwadi. Thousand of video copies of the "Jesus" film translated in local languages also will be distributed.
Exactly who are the Dalits?
Dalits, also called "untouchables," Harijans or "outcastes," are at the bottom of Indian society, outside of the caste system. They are India's poorest, most deprived, hungry, shunned and victimized people. The 260 million to 300 million Dalits, a word that means "oppressed" or "broken to pieces," have few opportunities for advancement. Most Dalits say their fate is determined at birth. For the first time, they will have the opportunity to know rebirth through Christ.
Why is this event so important?
If the "untouchables" respond to Christianity, it would be one of the greatest revivals of all time! The implications are staggering. Thousands of volunteers are being trained to counsel the new believers. Up to 300 new churches could to be established in New Delhi alone!
How is HCJB World Radio involved?
David Kealy, who leads HCJB World Radio's City by City initiative to establish and maintain radio ministries in developing countries, will be in India to support Pudaite--and others in the India Church network--at the Nov. 4 rally. In partnership with Bibles for the World, HCJB World Radio will help plant local Christian radio stations across India, encouraging believers in their faith and training new converts.
What you can do?
Pray for all the preparations and that God would bless as His Word is proclaimed. Pray for the training of the volunteers who will respond to the new converts. Pray for the printing and distribution of New Testaments, Gospels and "Jesus" videos. Give money and support for literature, training and for the planting of Christian radio ministries across India.
James A. Ferrier
HCJB World Radio
Web: www.hcjb.org | www.beyondthecall.org
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