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I marvel that the Most High came to earth and touched the untouchables.  

It didn’t matter if they were untouchable because of their culture – Samaritans, vocation – tax collectors, disease – leprosy or their sin – prostitutes.  Jesus, being full of compassion, touched them. 

The spirit of the world draws us to the lives of the rich and famous.   But the Spirit of Jesus draws us with compassion into the lives of the least and last.

Maybe that’s why I was sad and thinking about Irfan Masih when I couldn’t sleep at 2:30 this morning.

Irfan wasn’t just an “untouchable” who was born into the lower caste that is responsible for cleaning Pakistan’s sewers.  He was a Christian and a son of the Most High God.  He was my brother.

Irfan died last month after rescuing three unconscious co-workers who were trapped in a sewer and overcome from breathing toxic gases.  After the rescue, Irfan also passed out from the gas and his brother physically carried him to the hospital ER.  

The ER was staffed with Muslim doctors who refused to treat or even touch Irfan because he was a Christian and covered with sewage.    Irfan died in the ER less than 30 minutes later as his brother frantically attempted mouth-to-mouth resuscitation in-between his hopeless cries for help.

 

Sewer cleaning jobs in Pakistan are reserved for Christians, Muslims are not even allowed to apply for them.   The Christians, who are oppressed and uneducated, are forced out of desperation to take these jobs – just as their fathers and grandfathers did before them.  

Upon hiring, Christians are required to swear on their Bible that they will always be a sewer cleaner.   They’re hopelessly bound to this multi-generational cycle of oppression and virtual slavery.

Our compassionate God in Heaven hears their cries, just as He heard His people cry when they were oppressed and enslaved by Pharaoh thousands of years ago.   And, He who touched the untouchables is saying to us, “follow Me” and “go and do the same”.*

Please ask God to comfort Irfan’s family and pray for the strength and relief for our brothers and sisters in Pakistan. 

grace and peace,
brother Dominic

* John 12:26; Luke 10:37  
Source: WorldWatch Monitor and BBC News

I'm writing to you with a heavy heart on behalf of our Christian brothers and sisters in Nigeria who are facing starvation and need our help.
In Nigeria, 1.8 million people (many of them Christians) have been driven from their homes because of Islamic violence.

The Christians were even driven from the government displacement camps where they were persecuted. They now live in the makeshift tents pictured above with multiple families living in each tent.

The Nigerian government is now also discriminating against the Christians and denying them food and aid - they’re only helping Muslims.

Our brothers and sisters are literally eating leaves off trees.

We are now working with one of our most trusted partners to immediately provide food packages to 15,000 Christian families (approximately 75,000 people).

Each family will receive a package containing 50 KG of beans and 100 KG of maize plus a small amount of cash to purchase other necessities like cooking oil and soap.  

The cost per package per family is $123 and one package should sustain a family for two months or more.   The project budget is $1.8 million.

100% of all funds donated will be applied to the project without any deductions for overhead, fundraising or other organizational expenses.

As I wrote in a recent post titled: God is Calling for Compassion in Nigeria, this crisis is the greatest known humanitarian need in the body of Christ today. 

This project is truly about saving lives.

Please join us in supporting this compassionate work and DONATE NOW.

As a result of your ministry, they will give glory to God. For your generosity to them and to all believers will prove that you are obedient to the Good News of Christ.

And they will pray for you with deep affection because of the overflowing grace God has given to you. Thank God for this gift too wonderful for words! (2 Corinthians 9:13-15 NLT)

Please forward this email to your friends who love Jesus.

 

grace and peace,
brother Dominic

Last month I sounded the alarm about Prime Minister Modi’s Hindutva (fascist) background and agenda.  Since then, I’ve been asked, “why did the modern Indian democracy elect Modi to be their prime minister?”

The official party line attributes Modi’s election victory to his reputation for economic success. It is true that when Modi was Chief Minister of Gujarat, he economically transformed his state by recruiting 100’s of global companies to invest 100’s of billions of dollars in his state.

However, political analysts recognize that Modi’s victory was also driven by India’s powerful upper caste who are fearful of losing their elite status as India transitions into a modern economy.  They’re counting on Modi to preserve their dominance by aggressively oppressing and persecuting the lower caste.

India’s Christian Dalits Are the Lowest of the Low

India’s socio-economic hierarchy is still defined by its caste system.  The Dalits who are also known as India’s “untouchables” make up the lowest caste.    There are an estimated 250 - 300 million Dalits in India, including almost 50% of India’s 29 million Christians. 

Dalits do not have the right to own property and they sustain themselves by eating leftover food disposed of by the higher castes.  Many are bonded laborers including working as manual scavengers who are responsible for removing human excrement by hand from upper caste sewers and dry toilets.   These practices continue to this day even though they were outlawed with India’s Independence. 

Hindu Dalits receive welfare and other affirmative action-type benefits for education and employment.  They also receive a special protection status against discrimination, exploitation, and violence.   

But Christian Dalits aren’t eligible for any of these benefits or protection, just because they’re Christians.  Most of the violence against Indian Christians is reportedly against Dalit Christians.  

The caste system is so deeply entrenched in the soul of Indian culture, that even the upper caste Christians discriminate against their Dalit brothers and sisters!      

Dalit Christians are among the lowest-of-the-low in India’s lowest caste.  And Dalit Christian women are at the very bottom of this ungodly evil system because they’re also discriminated against because they are women.  They are among the most severely oppressed and vulnerable people in India.

Here in the West, WE CAN’T EVEN IMAGINE what life is like for our Dalit Christian brothers and sisters. 

Please pray for Prime Minister Modi and the governing Indian authorities, that our Indian brothers and sisters would be allowed to lead quiet lives in all godliness and dignity. 

First of all, then, I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all men, for kings and all who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity.  (1 Timothy 2:1-3)

Please share this message with your church and friends who love Jesus and pray.

grace and peace,
brother Dominic 
 

I was invited to participate in the World Summit in Defense of Christians that was hosted by the Billy Graham Evangelical Association.  We met in Washington DC last week to address the ongoing atrocities committed against Christ’s followers around the globe.   The Summit convened more than 600 people from 130 countries, including church leaders, advocates and many of our Christian brothers and sisters who have endured brutal persecution because of their faith.

The conference theme was clear: “We stand with you”.   This was communicated in many ways throughout the conference. The message seemed to carry the most weight when the United States Vice President, Mike Pence said: “I’m here on behalf of the president as a tangible sign of his commitment to defending Christians … On behalf of the President of the United States, I say from my heart that we are with you.” 

Pence spoke for many of us who live here in the West when he also said to those who have been persecuted, "Your faith inspires me, it humbles me and it inspires all who are looking on today".    To Pence’s point, our persecuted brothers and sisters are a living model of what it means to deny ourselves and follow Jesus.  We need them because our 21st century Western comfort and security is a hindrance to our faith.  Often, we don’t even realize how lukewarm we are, until we spend time with those who are “all in” and “hot” for Jesus.  

I was somewhat uncomfortable (in a good way) at the Summit’s closing dinner banquet.  Seated on my left was an evangelist – a husband and father of four children, who faithfully preaches the gospel daily in a region where Islamists are killing Christians literally every day.  His wife and children live day-to-day not knowing if daddy will come home.     Seated on my right was a pastor who carries a great weight of concern for his flock that has been physically beaten and is now the target of increasing persecution.    The testimonies of these men who so love and trust Jesus that they do not love their life even when faced with death, were God’s salve to open my eyes and see that I was lukewarm and complacent. 

During the Summit’s final session, Dr. John Ayres called on all followers of Christ to declare their allegiance with those who suffer for Christ’s name, and to pledge their support for persecuted Christians around the world.  With all my heart, I said yes.  Will you join me? 

Let love of the brethren continue … 
Remember the prisoners, as though in prison with them, 
and those who are ill-treated, since you yourselves also are in the body. 

Hebrews 13:1-3 NASB

grace and peace,
brother Dominic 

The Hindutva founding fathers distrusted and were hostile towards non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and especially Christian charities because they considered them to be “anti-national”.

So, it’s not surprising that since becoming prime minister, Modi’s administration has revoked the funding licenses for almost 10,000 non-profits and charities that conflict with his Hindutva agenda.  Did you notice that I didn’t say 100 or even 1000, but effectively defunded 10,000 non-profit organizations? 

This includes Human rights groups, legal aid societies and the countless charities that serve the millions of marginalized and impoverished people in India.   

For example, consider Compassion International, the Christian charity that cares for 100s of thousands of India’s destitute children.   Modi was elected three years ago and for the last three years, Compassion has been the target of multiple governmental attacks because of its Christian belief.  And, last year, the Indian government revoked their funding license even though they didn’t break any laws.  Compassion is now in the process of withdrawing from India.

Prime Minister Modi’s leadership team also gives us great cause for concern. 

Amit Shah (pictured above) is the President of the BJP and he is widely known to be Modi’s right-hand man.  Shah has been entangled in numerous legal controversies including having been arrested and charged with the murder, extortion, and kidnapping.

The only eyewitness to the murder was killed by the police.  And Shah was a high-ranking official over the police division that killed the witness!  

Earlier this month, Modi appointed a fiery Hindu cleric to lead Uttar Pradesh which is India’s largest state with more than 200 million people.     If Uttar Pradesh were a separate country, it would be the fifth-largest country in the world!

This radical cleric, whose name is Yogi Adityanath (pictured above), has a history of being arrested for inciting violence against non-Hindus.  According to the Hindustan Times, he is now awaiting trial in multiple cases, including attempted murder, criminal intimidation, and rioting. 

India’s electoral college will be voting to elect a new president in three months.   The BJP is expected to appoint Mohan Bhagwat (pictured above) for President.  

Bhagwat is currently the chief of the RSS.  The RSS is the ideological mother of the Hindutva movement and the BJP.  They are well-known for their disdain for religious minorities and advocating the forcible conversion of non-Hindus.

These are the leaders in the world’s largest democracy.

Please pray for Prime Minister Modi and the governing Indian authorities, that our Indian brothers and sisters would be allowed to lead quiet lives in all godliness and dignity. 

First of all, then, I urge that entreaties and prayers,
petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all men,
for kings and all who are in authority,
so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity.
This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior,
who desires all men to be saved
and to come to the knowledge of the truth. 
(1 Timothy 2:1-4)

Please share this message with your church and friends who love Jesus and pray.

grace and peace,
brother Dominic 

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