Dalit Christian

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In the late 1880s the Marathi word 'Dalit' was used by Mahatma Jotiba Phule for the outcasts and Untouchables who were oppressed and broken by Hindu society.The term Dalit Christian (sometimes Christian Dalit) is used to describe those low-caste who have converted to Christianity from Hinduism or Islam and are still categorized as Dalit in Hindu, Christian and Islamic societies in India, Pakistan and other countries. Hindu Dalits are referred to as "Harijans" while the Islamic Dalits are categorised as "Muhajir" or "Arzal".

The caste system

Dalits who converted to Christianity did not escape the caste system which has a strongly ingrained presence in Indian society that is not limited to Hindu religious ideals. The different branches of Christianity in India still engage in these societal practices with regards to the caste system, along with all its customs and norms, to varying degrees depending on the particular sect. Within the three major Christian branches in India, there were historically and are currently different levels of caste acceptance. The Protestant churches have most consistently repudiated the caste system, rejecting it as a Hindu construct, and have made the greatest attempt to establish a casteless community. The Roman Catholic Church developed a more culturally tolerant view, treating the caste system as part of the Indian social structure and, for much of its history in India, it...
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