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‘This just shows the wickedness of the human heart.’
Yohannan Available for Comment/Interview
CARROLLTON, Texas – “This just shows the wickedness of the human heart. I pray the government will take strong action to protect the innocent. We all grieve for what is happening. God have mercy on us.”
K. P. Yohannan, president of Gospel for Asia (GFA), issued the preceding statement today in the wake of the report of a second gang-rape in India in less than a month. GFA (www.gfa.org) is a mission organization working in South Asia.
According to CNN, Indian police report a woman was gang-raped by seven men after she boarded a bus Friday night. Police have arrested all seven suspects, including the bus driver, after the alleged attack in the Gurdaspur district of Punjab state.
This latest crime comes on the heels of the brutal rape and ultimate death of an unnamed woman on Dec. 28 in New Delhi, India, focusing global attention on violence against women in India.
“The long-time abuse women in India endure has now been highlighted,” said K. P. Yohannan, president of Gospel for Asia (GFA). “Their social stigma and inhuman treatment with impunity make them one of the largest unreached people groups.”
Gospel for Asia (www.gfa.org) specializes in ministering to them through its “Women Reaching Women” outreach in India. Women missionaries are working heavily in rural areas where unlawful abuse occurs regularly without retribution and in urban prostitution centers.
Conditions are worst among the women “untouchables,” or Dalits, who are the lowest castes and considered subhuman. Of India’s 1.2 billion people, one-fourth are “untouchables.”
The ratio of 1,000 men to 850 women is owing to routine murders of women through infanticide, gender-based abortion, the dowry system and lack of proper medical care. Mortality rates of Indian women in childbirth are 254 per 100,000 women, contrasted with only 21 in the United States.
Yohannan calls the conditions for women in India “a horrendous evil that is worsening.” Of all married Indian women, 46 percent are age 18 or under. Marriage of girls age five to seven, although illegal, is still practiced in some rural areas. Approximately 10,000 women are murdered annually when they cannot raise the required dowries for marriage. Widows are often cast out of their homes and abused.
An estimated one in four rapes in India takes place in Delhi, now dubbed “the rape capital of India.” A high percentage of these are by family members. The most recent statistic on record of 21,000 rapes in 2008 has risen dramatically, with many authorities estimating as few as one percent of all rapes reported, according to Yohannan.
Once a woman has been raped, she is socially outcast from marriage forever, and the family bears lasting shame.
“I am grateful for how the Prime Minister and Sonia Gandhi, along with government agencies, are responding to this outcry,” said Yohannan. “Positive steps are being taken.”
“Education for women in the name of Jesus is bringing hope,” said Yohannan. Indian women, who are often the last allowed to eat and the first to be kept illiterate, are learning to read and write and being educated on their human rights.
More than 59,000 women in India are enrolled in the microfinance system administered by GFA female partners. Women learn to support themselves and their families through gift supplies, such as sewing machines or chickens, from GFA donors.
“While India needs enforcement of stricter laws to protect women, ultimate liberation and hope come only through the love of Christ,” said Yohannan. “In teaching, we are showing women that Jesus cares about their needs, loves them and answers their prayers.”
To learn more about the plight of Indian women, or to donate to “Women Reaching Women,” call 800-946-2742 or visit www.gfa.org/women/.
Gospel for Asia (www.gfa.org) is a mission organization based in Carrollton, Texas, involved in sharing the love of Jesus across South Asia.