During the colonial era of the late 19th century, Hindu Indians began migrating to other parts of the world. Many were initially sent as indentured servants to Southern and Western Africa and the Caribbean islands. Later, Indian merchants and businessmen sought opportunities in Africa.
After World War II and India’s independence in 1947, 1.5 million Indians were granted access to the United Kingdom as the nation experienced a severe post-war labor shortage. They primarily filled unpopular jobs in exchange for naturalization through the nationality act of 1940. In 1960,
the United States of America also changed its immigration laws to allow more than 900,000 Indian professionals into the country.
Currently, more than 15 million people of Indian origin are dispersed throughout the world. Indians who live outside the Asian subcontinent are referred to as the Indian Diaspora. Most of them are in their second
or third generation of living abroad. While many people in the Indian Diaspora are still Hindu and celebrate popular religious and cultural customs, such as Diwali (the Festival of Lights starting today that celebrates the victory of light over darkness), the younger generation is not as strongly tied to these traditions as their parents. In fact, thousands of them have become Christians.
The Indian Diaspora has given us a wonderful opportunity to witness to Hindus in our own backyard, but to do this we must first welcome them with God’s heart. We must respect their culture and the diversity it brings to us. Always remember that no religious system has ever saved anyone; rather, it is the personal relationship to the living Christ that has saved souls. Let us acknowledge that we are all aliens and strangers on this earth as we reach out to the Hindus living among us.
Diwali Day 5: Bhai Dooj (the last day of the festival): This day is dedicated to the brother-sister relationship. Sisters put a red tilak (mark) on their brothers’ foreheads and pray for a prosperous life, while brothers bless their sisters and give them presents.
WAYS TO PRAY
PRAY FOR the Christians who are reaching out to Hindus with God’s love, that they may have wisdom and be guided by the Holy Spirit.
PRAY FOR the younger generation, that their hearts will be open to the gospel.
From The Hindu World Prayer Guide