by Babu G. Ranganathan
I was born into a middle caste Hindu family. I arrived in the U.S. with my family at the young age of six. At the age of fourteen, the Holy Spirit brought me to saving faith in Christ through the television-preaching ministry of Billy Graham. Indian Christians are suffering big time now in India. Hindu fundamentalism is sweeping over India. Although according to India's Constitution there is supposed to be freedom of religion, millions of low caste Hindus converting to Christianity are being harassed and persecuted like never before. The upper caste Hindus could care less (too busy making money in the great global economy) and police and politicians look the other way.
India has a total population of more than one billion people. Hindus in India belong to five major castes, the last one being the "Untouchable" Caste (also known as Dalits). The "Untouchable" Caste in India has probably about three hundred million people (the size of the entire United States). These people are treated as the scum of Indian society. They must do the dirtiest work and live in the worst conditions. They live segregated from the rest of the Hindus who believe they'll become spiritually polluted by coming near or even touching an "untouchable". Jim Crow is alive and well in India! "Untouchables" must use separate well waters, especially in the rural areas, or risk being maimed or even killed.
Why is all this so? The Hindu religion teaches reincarnation. According to the Hindu religion the "untouchables" were born in their low caste because of big sins committed in their previous lives. Millions of untouchables believe they have no right to resist or change things because they believe they deserve the sub-human conditions in which they were born.
When "untouchables" hear the Christian Gospel and realize that Jesus Christ paid for all their sins through the shedding of His blood and death on the Cross and that He rose victoriously from the grave and that they can have immediate and full forgiveness of their sins now by putting their faith in Christ it becomes a powerful message to them, and many, through the Holy Spirit's power, eventually do convert (not because of some sins in a supposed past life that they don't remember but because of the sins that they know and commit now.
When this happens many upper caste Hindus persecute the "untouchables". They say the "untouchables" only converted from Hinduism to escape their sub-human conditions. These "untouchables" have no money. They can't afford lawyers. The "untouchables" are given heavy fines for converting and many are being beaten, tortured, and imprisoned. Whole families are beaten and there's no medical care for these poor people. No one will care for them. Many even die.
I encourage American Christians to support Gospel for Asia Ministries. One hundred percent of your money goes to the field (no administrative expenditures). GFA is helping scores of "untouchables" and other Hindus in India to come to Christ and GFA helps them with their physical needs as well.
Some have argued that these are not true conversions, that the "untouchables" are converting to Christianity in order to escape the Hindu caste system. But, if that were the case these Hindus could easily have converted to the Muslim religion (Islam) in order to escape the caste system, and the far greater number of Muslims in India (some 150 million) would have provided them far greater protection from Hindu persecution than the much smaller and politically weaker Christian population.
Many of these conversions to Christianity are true and real and the Indian government is not doing anything substantial to protect "untouchables" converting to Christianity from severe persecution by Hindus. Hindu fundamentalists are now in control of many local governments in India, and even the central government in India was under Hindu fundamentalist control until recently.
GFA provides assistance and help without conditions. People are not required to convert before receiving help! But, many who do receive help eventually come to receive Christ into their lives because of the love and Gospel message shared by the GFA pastors and missionaries.
Some of the ways in which GFA helps is by providing tools or farm animals to the poor in the countryside so that they'll be able to earn their own living. A family may receive a cow and sell the milk produced to pay for rent and put food on the table. Another family may receive a manually-cranked sewing machine to make clothes to sell.
Listen, folks, one American dollar in India can do for a person there what forty American dollars can do for someone here in America. Thirty or forty American dollars a month can fully support a missionary in India. Just forty American dollars a month can provide shelter, transportation, three square meals a day, clothes, shoes, medicine for a missionary in India. Imagine what more can do!
Please contact GFA now at: http://www.gfa.org/.