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Joined: 2005/9/8
Posts: 60

 Mass conversions of Hindu 'Untouchables' - Some to Jesus


I believe this is an excellent opportunity for Christians everywhere to pray, and maybe even for some to quit America and other rich nations to help the gospel of Christ be spread here in Asia.

This is about a situation occurring now in another country. You may have heard of it - India.

Here is a kind of over-simplified assessment of what is a very complex political situation. I urge you to find out more for yourselves.

There is a built-in system of inequality in the Hindu religion - called the caste system. Many of the lowest cast (actually out-casts), called Dalits - sometimes referred to as 'untouchables' - are fed up with the system, as it relegates them to a position of lifelong menial labor and inferiority. They are now converting en masse to other religions. Buddhism, Jainism, Sikhism, Islam, and Christianity.

I think most of these are converting to Buddhism, with less coming to Christ.

I'm sure that all here at SI would like to see them come to faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. One problem facing those coming to the church is that they may be looked down upon by higher caste converts. (Who never read James 2, apparently)

You see. There are, at present, 160 - 180 Million Dalits (Low-caste Hindus - or 'Untouchables') Equal to over ½ the population of the US (which will reach the 300 million mark Tues. morning at 7:46 AM EDT- BTW).

There are laws against conversion in many Indian states, but they are being protested against by these conversions.

Some may say that many such decisions will not lead to saving faith in Christ. I tend to agree, but many too will come to a true knowledge of the Lord, resulting in faith, repentance, baptism and salvation. Especially with proper discipleship and fellowship, supported by our prayers. (Or our lives?)

Here is a BBC link with a video:

Here's an article from the Bangkok Post:

Mass conversion to Buddhism in India

New Delhi (dpa) - The western Indian town of Nagpur was tense Saturday as hundreds of lower caste Hindus or Dalits attended a rally to protest new laws making conversion from Hindusim to other religions more difficult, news reports said.

Several hundreds were also expected to convert to Buddhism and Christianity at a mass ceremony alongside the rally, the Telegraph newspaper reported.

The rally is being held to mark the 50th anniversary of the conversion to Buddhism of BR Ambedkar, a low-caste Hindu who was the prime architect of India's constitution and fought for the rights of the Dalits, or former untouchables.

The Dalits for about 16 per cent of India's 80 per cent Hindu population and occupy the lowest rung of an archaic caste system.

Several states, including Rajasthan, Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh, all governed by the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party, have recently introduced laws making conversion from Hinduism to another religion difficult.

Over the years, there has been a trend in India for the lower caste Dalits to convert to Buddhism or to Christianity to escape the injustices of the Hindu caste system.

Though untouchability is banned under Indian law, upper caste Hindus still practise all forms of discrimination, including insisting that Dalits drink from separate village wells.

The most menial jobs, including cleaning of sewers and night soil, often manually, are also largely done by Dalit community members.

The rally and conversion ceremony in Nagpur has been organized jointly by the All India Christian Council (AICC) and the All India Confederation of Scheduled Castes/Scheduled Tribes.

Copies of anti-conversion laws passed by several Indian states would be burned at the rally, an AICC press release said.

Local wings of Hindu nationalist groups of Nagpur have said they would hold protests against the mass conversion. Nagpur is the headquarters of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, known as the fountainhead of Hindu nationalism,

"These are anti-national elements. Our Constitution gives freedom of religious propagation, not proselytization," Prashant Harpalkar, a leader of a Hindu nationalist organization was quoted as saying by the Telegraph.

"India is the world's largest democracy and an amazing land of diversity. Yet our nation must recognize the evil of a system which does not freely allow people to express a freedom of conscience. People must be allowed to choose their faith freely," Joseph D'Souza, president of the Dalit Freedom Network and the AICC said.

India is a secular state with Hindus comprising 80 percent of its 1.1 billion population, Muslims 13 per cent and Christians less than 3 per cent.

Smaller religious minority groups such as Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains and Parsees (who follow the Zoroastrian faith) make the rest.


J. Buzza

 2006/10/15 5:01Profile

Joined: 2006/6/12
Posts: 524

 Re: Mass conversions of Hindu 'Untouchables' - Some to Jesus


Thanks for the informative post.

One problem facing those coming to the church is that they may be looked down upon by higher caste converts. (Who never read James 2, apparently)

No difference in the U.S. really, where I live anyways. "Church" ground seems to be one the most discriminatory places everywhere you go.
If not by race, by social status.

Pulpits do preach James a lot in fact, just not practiced, from pulpits down...

 2006/10/15 9:35Profile

Joined: 2003/6/11
Posts: 9192
Santa Clara, CA

 Re: Mass conversions of Hindu 'Untouchables' - Some to Jesus

Here is a bit more, care of Intercessors Network

Along the Indian road

Also in this issue:
Dengue grips India; 300 dead, 200,000 affected
Chikungunya and Dengue cases on the rise

Low-caste Hindus adopt new faith

Thousands of people have been attending mass ceremonies in India at which hundreds of low-caste Hindus (Dalits) converted to Buddhism and Christianity.
The events in the central city of Nagpur are part of a protest against the injustices of India’s caste system.
By converting, Dalits - once known as Untouchables - can escape the prejudice and discrimination they normally face.

The ceremonies mark the 50th anniversary of the adoption of Buddhism by the scholar Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar.
He was the first prominent Dalit to urge low-caste Indians to embrace Buddhism.
As the chief architect of India’s constitution, he wrote anti-discrimination provisions and quota systems into the country’s law.
But four-fifths of India’s Dalits live in often isolated rural areas, and traditional prejudice has persisted in spite of official laws.

‘Cry for dignity’
The Dalits arrived by the truckload at a public park in Nagpur for ceremonies, which began with religious leaders giving fiery speeches against the treatment of lower castes.
Reuters reported that dozens of riot policemen had turned out at the sprawling park.
Udit Raj, a Dalit leader, told this correspondent that around 2,500 people converted to Christianity and Buddhism.

Joseph D’Souza, the president of the Dalit Freedom Network and a Christian convert, described the conversions as a “celebratory occasion”.
“I think it’s important to understand that this is a cry for human dignity, it’s a cry for human worth,” he told this correspondent.
He said that Dalits could seek dignity by converting to Christianity, Jainism or Sikhism as well as Buddhism.

Buddhist convert Dhammachari Manidhamma told this correspondent that social equality was impossible within Hinduism.
“Buddha’s teaching was for the humanity, and Buddha believed in equality.
“And Hindu religion, Hindu teaching is nothing but inequality.

Laws against conversion
Similar mass conversions are taking place this month in many other parts of India.
Several states governed by the Hindu nationalist party, the BJP, have introduced laws to make such conversions more difficult.
The states of Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Tamil Nadu have all passed laws restricting conversions.
Gujarat has reclassified Buddhism and Jainism as branches of the Hindu religion, in an attempt to prevent conversions away from Hinduism eroding the BJP’s bedrock support.

Hinduism teaches that most humans were created from parts of the body of the divinity Purusha.
According to which body parts they were created from, humans fall into four basic castes which define their social standing, who they can marry, and what jobs they can do.
But Dalits fall outside this system and are traditionally prevented from doing all but the most menial jobs or even drinking from the same water sources as other castes.


167m people, 16.2% of India’s population
Nearly 60% live in Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Bihar, Andhra Pradesh, and Tamil Nadu states
The lowest rank in Hindu society, beneath the traditional caste system
Expected to perform the most menial jobs, particularly handling cadavers and human and animal waste
Physical contact with a Dalit was traditionally considered ritually polluting for other castes
Even converts to Christianity and Islam have encountered discrimination from higher-caste converts

-- -- --

Dengue grips India; 300 dead, 200,000 affected

A dramatic spread of the mosquito-caused dengue fever has killed at least 300 people - including one Tuesday evening at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) here - and affect 200,000 others across the country, officials said Tuesday, October 10.

Dengue is a hemorrhagic fever. It is transmitted by the bite of infected Aedes mosquitoes; all countries affected by the Tsunami are endemic to dengue.
Now different cities in India affected by this dreadful disease people started dying with this Dengue Virus. Other than Dengue another virus fever named Chikungunya is also spreading very fast in Tamil Nadu and Kerala states, especially in Tsunami hit areas.

Now under the Leadership of Dr. Raja Sekhar, India Bible Mission is active in preventive measures and doing healing ministry to the people. We are sending teams with mosquito repellents, nets to prevent mosquito and medicines for the affected people, also our missionary team is doing healing prayers and sharing the love of Jesus to the affected people, we experienced remarkable impact through our work.
Please pray for the work in affected areas and needs.

God Bless you all,
Rev J. David Jerald and Dr. Raja Sekha
India Bible Mission.

Chikungunya and Dengue cases on the rise

The number of patients suffering from dengue and chikungunya continued to rise in India as the Central government and the affected states scrambled yesterday to chalk out strategies to contain the spread of the mosquito-borne, potentially fatal diseases.
The country yesterday reported 3,876 cases of dengue and over 1.3 million cases of chikungunya. The death toll for dengue fever was put at 52. The Central Health Ministry held a meeting of health ministers of the 10 states affected by the twin menaces in Delhi. “We discussed new strategies and took stock of the efforts made to control the spread of the virus,” Anubumani Ramadoss, Union Health Minister, said after the meeting.

While reports said chikungunya had claimed a large number of lives in Kerala, Ramadoss maintained that there were no deaths reported due to chikungunya and the deaths in Kerala were not due to chikungunya but due to some other illness.
He added that the ministry had earlier given Rs150m to the states to control the spread of the diseases and later provided additional Rs200m for the purpose.
The Union territory of Andaman and Nicobar Islands was the latest to be affected by the chikungunya virus.

Dengue, too, continued to spread across the country as more and more cases were reported from various states. Dengue, caused by the bite of the female aedes aegypti mosquito, which breeds in stagnant water, is marked by high fever, skin rashes and joint pain. A sharp drop in blood platelet count can prove fatal. The national Capital, the worst dengue-affected state, registered 72 new cases, taking the total number of the affected people to 1,111. Of these, 719 are from Delhi itself while the rest are from areas close to the national capital. Senior health officials said that most of the people affected by the virus in the capital were below 25 years age.
“In the past 15 days, around 1,500 units of platelets have been given to the people and we have taken measures to ensure a regular supply of platelets for the patients. There is no shortage of it,” said a senior health official here.

The officials said that measures have been taken so that blood in the 53 licensed blood banks in Delhi was available for the patients.
Taking note of the increasing cases, Health Minister Ramadoss visited the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (Aiims) yesterday morning, October 09, to review the situation. The leading public hospital in the country has been receiving the largest number of patients. “The minister met some of the patients and inquired about their well-being during his hour-long visit,” said Aiims Medical Superintendent D K Sharma. Ramadoss also visited the newly formed special dengue ward in the hospital.

According to Sharma, there were 39 new patients in the hospital, taking the total to 179. “In the past 24 hours, around 48 people have been discharged from the hospital and no deaths have been reported,” he said.
Most patients coming to Aiims were from Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan. Among other affected states are Kerala (713 cases), Gujarat (424), Rajasthan (328), West Bengal (314), Tamil Nadu (368), Maharashtra (226) and Uttar Pradesh (259).
Officials said that cases were also reported from Haryana (73), Karnataka (60) and Andhra Pradesh (9).
In Andhra Pradesh, the dengue toll climbed to five yesterday, with reports of fresh cases coming from different parts of the state.

-- -- -- -- --

Mike Balog

 2006/10/15 18:55Profile

Joined: 2005/4/10
Posts: 22

 Re: Mass conversions of Hindu 'Untouchables' - Some to Jesus

Thank you for the informative post. It breaks my heart to hear of those who do not know Christ. I do not know how they face life without His comforting presence and peace.

 2006/10/17 22:55Profile

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