Aug. 15 marks 70 years of independence for India.
When it first gained independence in 1947, the country was poor and undeveloped, but today the country has the fourth-fastest growing economy in the world.
The country is diverse and young, but there are still challenges of poverty and violence against women and communalism, says Rev. Joseph D’Souza, the moderating bishop of the Good Shepherd Church of India, in a column for ChristianToday.com.
“For the church in India, these challenges present a great opportunity to practically work out the good news of the Kingdom of God Jesus announced,” he says.
He says that the church must have unconditional love toward everyone, regardless of caste or religious beliefs.
“In a country where grueling poverty marks day to day life for millions of men, women and children, the church has both the mandate and opportunity to respond with generosity,” he said.
Women suffer the most in India, D’Souza writes. They are raped and abused with documented statistics of 10-year-olds being raped every 13 hours.
“India will be truly developed and free when her women are freed and equal, and have the rights not just in the Indian Constitution but that Jesus promised in the Kingdom of God.”
D’Souza says even though India is still a young democracy, the country has made great strides, but more can be done to help others and that begins with the church.
“There is no contradiction between being a Christian and an Indian. As much as we should care for the poor of the world and injustice everywhere, Jesus wants us to care about our nation and people.”
Publication date: August 15, 2017