They are called "untouchables," or dalits -- millions of Indian men, women, and children born into a caste system that views them as impure, less than human. Despite laws to protect them, these outcasts face daily discrimination.
They are also the single largest victims of human trafficking in the world. Now, one Southern California church is on a mission to help free the Dalits of India through education, a biblical message of hope, and a movie about their plight.
A Dalit's Destiny
Every single day, somewhere in India, a Dalit is humiliated, assaulted, raped, beaten and killed. Considered outcasts not even worthy to be in the caste system, the vast majority of them are poor, illiterate, and survive on less than $2 a day.
It was into this dark side of Indian society that Matthew Cork, lead pastor of Friends Church in Yorba Linda, Calif., stepped in and came face-to-face with the plight of India's Dalits. In 2007, on his first trip to India, he saw up close the challenges millions of them endure.
"I think God brought me to India to break me," Cork said. "When I saw they were considered untouchables, considered less than an animal, I looked at myself, I looked at my own children -- how could anyone ever be treated that way?"
He returned to the United States broken by Dalits' sufferings, yet emboldened by a call from God to try to help change their destiny.
"We believe that our job is to be the catalyst church in the West to free the Dalits in our generation," he said.
His main partner in India is Dr. Joseph D'souza, founder of the Dalit Freedom Network. For some 30 years, Dr. D'souza has worked on behalf of the marginalized and oppressed in India.
"Today around the world there are more slaves than even during the time of Wilberforce. Modern slavery is a huge problem and India is the epicenter of this problem," D'souza said.
Source: CBN News | George Thomas