Liberation Theology of Dalit, Tribal and Adivasi. Liberation is one of the great slogans of modern politics and one of the major themes of the Bible.
The Exodus from Egyptian bondage was the foundational narrative of the Jewish nation. And Jesus inaugurated his ministry by announcing that he had come ‘to release the oppressed. Scripture teaches that Christ brings redemption from slavery to sin. But it also depicts deliverance from material forms of oppression.
Dalit Adivasi and tribal liberation theology
Dalit Adivasi and tribal liberation theology is a systematic reflection on God and humankind from the perspective of the Dalit, Adivasi and tribal experiences. It sees God as struggling alongside the Dalit, Adivasi and Tribal in challenging the structures of caste and oppression, both within as well as outside the Church.
It has to base itself on the experiences of the Dalits as a whole and not merely that of the Dalit Christians alone.
Putting Liberation Theology into practice
The human yearning for what the New Testament calls aphesis – variously translated as freedom, pardon, release, deliverance, forgiveness, remission is as strong as it ever was.
Our most extreme bondage is our enslavement to sin and death, and at the heart of the gospel is the claim that Christ died for our sins’ (1 Corinthians 15:3). But as we preach Christ crucified, we should share Christ’s concern for the marginalized and the downtrodden.
Modern slavery is thriving, and millions of vulnerable people are subjected to debt bondage and trafficked across the globe. In many parts of the world. Women oppressed by honor killings, forced prostitution, genital excision, (sex-selective) abortion, and exclusion from education and literacy.
The poor exploit by unfair trade, and large swathes of the world’s population are denied fundamental religious freedoms.
The Bible reveals a God who hears the cries of the oppressed and loves to bring deliverance. The mission of God sets a plan for the Church. In our preaching, prayer and worship. We need to recover an integrated vision of the gospel as a message of liberation ‘from every kind of oppression.
The Church should not be a cozy retreat from the world, an insulated spiritual bubble containing privatized piety. Instead, churches ought to pray for the spiritual and material needs of the world and educate. And empower their members to tackle injustice.
On an efficient level, our congregations could do more to support the many Christian organizations that work heroically to liberate people from various kinds of oppression. drug and alcohol addiction (small rehabilitation centers), religious persecution, modern-day slavery, human rights abuses, deprivation and debt. Oppression and poverty like sin and doubt – will be with us till Christ returns.
Still, when we lose the chains of injustice, we open the door to spiritual renewal (Isaiah 58:6-9). And anticipate the day when the creation itself will liberated from its bondage to decay. And brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God. (Romans 8:21)
Questions for Discussion
Discuss the role of theological community in this process of liberation.
If you were an oppressed person, how you would like to fight for your justice and liberation?
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