Individuals familiar with Indian culture and life know that Indian society is comprised of numerous people groups. I have known that Dalits were treated badly in Indian society, but I had not realized the severity of the laws unfavorable to Christian Dalits. Recently The Voice of the Martyrs ran the story below, which shows Christians protesting the unfair treatment of Christian Dalits, by the Indian government:
INDIA: On November 29, more than 500 Christians from across India staged a rally in New Delhi protesting another Supreme Court decision to defer a hearing on the rights of more than 16 million Dalit Christians. According to Compass Direct News, Dalit Christians (formerly known as “untouchables”) eagerly awaited the hearing with the hope of a favorable outcome, which would have provided affirmative action benefits for Dalit converts to Christianity.
Compass Direct News reported, “The federal government, ruled by the Congress Party-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA), was expected to decide yesterday whether Dalit Christians can be denied affirmative action benefits extended to Dalits of other faiths. The hearing, however, was postponed until January after the government told the court that the UPA government was awaiting response from the National Commission for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes.”
Responding to the Supreme Court’s delay, Archbishop Vincent Concessao, of the Archdiocese of Delhi, released a statement stating, ‘They (Dalits) are oppressed a lot. We request the government of India to listen to the voice of Dalit Christians and stop exploiting the goodwill of minorities.”
The Voice of the Martyrs has and will continue to assist Dalit believers in India. Pray the Indian government recognizes Dalit Christians, so they will not continue to be treated as second-class citizens.