Friday, January 30, 2015

Not untouchable in Christ: Reaching out to the least of God’s children

The term “slumdog” has been popularized through films exploring the harsh realities of urban squalor and poverty rampant in South Asia. A considerable number of these men, women and children are Dalits, those at the lowest levels of the Hindu caste-system. Dalits are often treated with contempt because they are considered ritually unclean and are thought to have committed great sins in a previous life. Those who try to survive in cities face a great deal of scorn and abuse, though village life is not always an improvement. Dalits, commonly known as “untouchables” in the West, are often denied everything from meaningful employment and ample education to basic necessities like food and safe drinking water, even though caste-based discrimination has been illegal for decades.

Image Source: en.wikipedia.org

Many Dalits think they deserve a life of poverty and hopelessness from the time of conception to death, based on the widespread belief in reincarnation and the never-ending cycle of rebirth. Some people in South Asia think, “You must have been horrible in your past life to be born as a Dalit, so you deserve to suffer the consequences now.” However, Christ sees differently. Missions such as Gospel for Asia are reaching out to the Dalit peoples to provide these precious individuals with the message of hope, forgiveness of sins and eternal life in Jesus Christ. Many missions and missionaries not only work to bring hope to those rejected by traditional and contemporary South Asian society, but also give these men and women access to the basic necessities that were once denied them.

Image Source: worldprayblog.org

Missions like Gospel for Asia have brought the light of hope to many a former “slumdog,” sharing about the God who became human and started His life on earth in a lowly cattle shed. By knowing Jesus, people at all levels of society, including Dalits, are finding the hope they never knew existed.  

Image Source: larrywho.com

For more on the mission’s work and all God is doing through them, visit this page.