Stories

Reaching Devadasis

Temple prostitutes are called “devadasis” in India.

These girls are often from the lowest castes in India—their parents have given them to temples as human offerings in order to appease the gods. These girls are expected to worship and serve for the rest of their lives … as prostitutes.

They cannot marry. Their children have no father … no place in society. If disease or violence does not claim their life early, they must turn to begging in their old age.

India’s government outlawed the practice in 1988, but it persists in south India, where there are an estimated 50,000 devadasis.*

8 women in a Church Planter Training class in south India have a special heart to reach out to local devadasis. These Church Planters hold group meetings with devadasis, raising awareness about HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases, and sharing about their rights and benefits as citizens.

These 8 Church Planters also share their personal testimonies, distribute Christian tracts, and pray for devadasis who are sick. Additionally, the Church Planters personally visit devadasis in their homes, sharing the Gospel and praying.

This special group of Church Planters asks for your prayers for Sanjoli, a 32-year-old devadasi who has HIV/AIDS. She is worried about the future of her 15-year-old daughter, Geena. (Our partners report that Sanjoli and her daughter are open to the Gospel message and often attend church. Pray that they choose to follow Jesus!)

* National Commission on Women

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