Resisting Social Evils

Lord Jesus touched the lepers, allowed a sinful woman to anoint his feet with tears, and was a guest of tax-collector Zacchaeus. (Matthew 8:3; Luke 7:36-39; 19:1-10) Throughout history, the Church has brought radical changes by challenging social evils. There are three approaches to mission, especially in bringing social transformation.
Sati: When a husband dies, his wife or wives are burnt alive along with the husband’s corpse. This social evil was prevalent in many parts of India. There was no dignity or right to live for a widow.
Relief and rescue: Kokila (Clarinda 1746 – 1806) was married to a wealthy man in a royal court in Tamil Nadu. Her husband died and she was taken to the funeral fire, but a British soldier Henry Lyttleton, who was passing by took pity on her and rescued her. He taught her the Christian truth and she became a disciple of the Lord Jesus Christ and in fact, built the first church in Tirunelveli. Rescue work may challenge the existing practices but may bring lasting change.
Awareness and public debate: Richard Hartley Kennedy was appointed in the city of Baroda to take care of the health of Company Employees. Ambabai’s husband died and she had to climb her husband’s funeral pyre. Sadly, she had to sing her funeral song. She was burnt alive to death. Richard could not stop it. He wanted to bring to notice to people this torturous practice. Hence, he wrote in the London newspapers and periodicals about Sati. That created a public opinion that the evil practice would later be banned by law.
New law: William Carey served as a missionary in Kolkata and witnessed the evil practice of Sati. One of his friends was Raja Ram Mohan Roy who witnessed his close relative girl, seventeen years old burnt alive. Roy could not stop it. With petitions submitted to the British government, a law was enacted on 4 December 1829 by Lord William Bentinck.
Prayers, rescue, awareness, and laws are needed to bring social changes.
Am I a catalyst for bringing changes in society?