"We Have Come to Earn Salvation"
Gospel for Asia
dimanche 12 août 2007, par Journalchretien.net
ORISSA, INDIA (ANS) —
The mythical marriage of two Hindu gods is the basis for the Sitalsasti
festival in Orissa ,
India, that draws thousands of people from Orissa and other states.
Gospel for Asia missionaries took this opportunity to reach out to people
who do not know Jesus, including many who came hoping to be born into a
better station in their next life. India's hijras are a group in society
with specific religious duties. Most of these men, who dress like women,
believe they were born this way because of sins in their past life. More
than 500 hijras gathered at the Sitalsasti festival for two reasons : to
discuss their problems as transgenders as well as hoping to gain favor from
"We are born eunuchs because of the sins we committed in our last life,"
the Times of India website quoted Kamala, a hijra, as saying. "We have come
here to earn some Puniya (salvation) by observing the gods. We believe that
in our next life we will be born as normal human beings."
According to the BBC, the number of hijras throughout India is between
500,000 and one million. For many
hijras, their only work options are begging or prostitution . Some
earn money performing classical dances. While there are certain religious
ceremonies reserved for hijras to perform, in daily life they are not
accepted. They feel their choice to act as women has brought them
injustices, which is one of the reasons they came together at the Sitalsasti
"Within three days, GFA missionaries
distributed 50,000 tracts, 10,000 Christian booklets and 5,000 New
Testaments," our correspondent wrote. One pastor reported that at least 200
people seemed genuinely interested in the Gospel message. The pastors will
be doing follow-up work in the days ahead.
Our correspondent asks for prayer
that people from all parts of society who attended this festival will read
the literature they received and turn to Jesus for salvation.