Mercy Global in India
Mercy Global partners with a network of Indian pastors in Karnataka, the southwest region of India, to host the annual "Beloved" conference for the Devadasi women and the annual "Brave" conference for the Devadasi children. Our aim is to empower them to experience a life of freedom that comes from receiving God’s Grace and to view themselves as God views them: beloved.
Devadasis are women dedicated to the worship and service of a Hindu god/goddess. In most cases, girls from the lowest ("untouchable") caste as young as four years old are "married" off to a god/goddess by their parents due to extreme poverty. In the local language, they have a saying about Devadasis: "Servant of god, but wife of the whole town" because in reality, they are sex slaves. As a result, both women and children are left marginalized and oppressed within their society. In 1988, India's government enacted laws prohibiting the dedication of Devadasis, but the practice still exists today. According to the National Human Rights Commission, in 2013, there were as many as 450,000 Devadasis in India.