India's 'untouchable' people are touched by God's power

Recommended by Alicia Purdy

For the Deseret News

Published: Friday, July 13 2012 2:00 a.m. MDT

Our take: Although India has outlawed the discrimination of the antiquated caste system, a separation remains between people of different socio-economic positions, especially for the country's Dalit people, or the "untouchables." The Dalits, who are often sold into slavery or the sex trade industry, are told from birth about their worthlessness; however, Christianity has permeated into the group with a message of hope, telling the Dalits they are made in the image of God, and that has begun to slowly change they way they see themselves.

A human rights group in India says Christianity has brought slow but lasting change to the country's Dalits or untouchables, especially for the community's women who are often victims of prostitution and human trafficking.

The Dalits are told that they are less than animals and we tell them they are not, non-profit director Jeevaline Kumar told CNA, because they are made in the likeness of God.

Kumar who heads up Operation Mobilisation's Anti-Human Trafficking Project in Bangalore, Karnataka explained that the simple message that every person created in God's image has transformed the lives of India's Dalits.

They are crying out for a change now that they know they can live differently, she said.

At roughly 250 million people, Dalits make up close to one quarter of the country's 1.2 billion member population but, according to the caste system, are seen as inherently impure and worthless.

Read more about Christianity in India on Catholic News Agency.

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