Monday, November 05, 2007

$3,800 more this week... Plus, the Dalits of India: what is our role as Christians?

What is our role as Christians regarding the Dalits of India?
On Saturday I had the privilege of issuing the closing challenge at the 19th Annual Ottawa Missionary Brunch here in Ottawa. The turnout was great with about 175 buying tickets, and the conference inspiring as about 10 missionaries gave reports of what God is doing around the world.

An unexpected thing happened while I was speaking. I was promoting a book called "Dalit Freedom" (written by Joseph D'Souza: the head of the All Christian Council of India; also the head of OM India) about the 200-300 million "untouchables" (or "Dalits") of India; and how, as the lowest members of society, they are an oppressed people. (Read about one village of Dalits in my September 2006 blog post Rat Eaters.)

So, while I was speaking, a brother of Indian origin suddenly stood up to say that he strongly disagreed with the contents of this book. He sat down and I went on, and then he stood up again to repeat his message! Needless to say, it was a surprising disturbance.

Afterwards, this brother came up to me and acknowledged that nothing I had said was untrue--I wish he had said this from the floor!--but that he wanted to use me as a "scapegoat" (his words) to communicate to the audience that we should not, as Christians, get involved in the Dalit issue. (At least, this is what I understood his message to be.)

What do you think? I view this as similar to Apartheid of South Africa. It is an issue of social inequality. What are your thoughts? Should Christians get involved?

Anyway, a little extra unanticipated colour in a meeting never killed anyone. ;)

Update on the 10,000 Jesus DVDs project
Wow, I have an unofficial figure that ~$3,800 came in this week for the Christmas outreach project. This brings the total amount that has come in to $8,667.75! We are praying for $15,000 by November 31, and $30,000 by December 31; so thanks for joining us in 'praying in' the needed funds.

Today I received an email in conjunction with this project to say that "One church we know is having a fundraising supper for [the Christmas outreach project], another friend's Sunday School is having a penny drive." Praise the Lord. He is at work, and He has invited us to be part of what He is doing.
Additional to the below, click the following link for *non-Blogger* Comments:

Plus, 3 *Blogger* Comments:

Blogger Jaby Jacob said...

As a man of Indian origin who was raised in Canada, I am surprised at how the Christians in India treat Dalits.

I suspect that there's much that we don't know, but also there's much we can do.

What many in India resent is the "affirmative action" that is being implementing to correct years of injustice.

I've not read the book in question, so I can't comment on that.

2:20 PM  
Blogger Benjamin Marsh said...

Nigel,

This sort of response is one we commonly get when we speak to people of Indian descent - even Christians - across the states (I am with Dalit Freedom Network USA).

Thanks for talking on the issue and promoting the book.

Take Care,

Ben Marsh

10:55 PM  
Blogger Khawatein Voice said...

Read about the plight of Muslim women in India and elsewhere... a comprehensive blog on Muslim women - the true dalits denied human rights... visit "Khawatein Voice" by Haseena Khatun, a Muslim woman married to a Hindu, http://www.khawatein.blogspot.com

10:11 AM  

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