bible society of India


We are aware that on the 10th of August every year, we remember our demand to include Dalit Christians and Dalit Muslims in the Scheduled Caste list. This year, we have designated it as the National Protest Day to protest against this injustice meted out to a section of Indian citizens. You are also aware that in 2013, National Council of Churches in India has filed an impleading application in the Supreme Court of India in the Civil Writ petition (180/2004) which is pending before the Hon’ble Court. In January 2020, the Supreme Court of India agreed to examine the plea to make reservations “religion neutral” so that Dalit Christians and Muslims too can benefit. The plea is pending before the court.

On 10th of August we remember, the infamous Presidential (Scheduled Caste) Order 1950 which was signed 71 years ago by the then President of India, which says “No person who professes a religion other than Hinduism shall be deemed to be a member of the scheduled caste” which was later amended to include Sikhs (1956) and Buddhists (1990) in the Scheduled Caste net. On account of this, Christians and Muslims of Dalit origin continue to be kept out of the Scheduled Caste list thereby denying them privileges in education, getting scholarships, employment opportunities, right to contest in the reserved constituencies, availing legal remedy/protection under SC and ST (Prevention) of Atrocities Act 1989 as amended in 2018, and such other affirmative actions. This is clear discrimination against Dalit Christians and Dalit Muslims based on religion, and a violation of the freedom of religion and belief which is guaranteed by the Constitution of India.

We realize that our 71 years of struggle for justice should be supported by all people who believe in equality and democracy. The Supreme Court has a monumental opportunity now to render justice to millions of Dalit Christians and Dalit Muslims who continue to suffer from social stigma and the horrors of un-touchability.


Dear Outcast Lord,

Open our eyes, that we who seek to follow You may recognize Your face in the faces of those who are been denied privileges in education, getting scholarships, employment opportunities, right to contest in the reserved constituencies, availing legal remedy / protection under SC and ST (Prevention) of Atrocities Act and such other affirmative actions.

Open our ears, that we who seek to hear Your Word, may recognize Your love in the stories which are often drowned out.

Open our hearts, that we who seek Your way of life may be bold in witnessing to Your longing for justice and Equality.

Lord, we often hear it said that ‘The Dalit Christians and Dalit Muslims suffer from social stigma and the horrors of untouchability.’ ‘It’s what they’re used to… they’re not like us.’ ‘I don’t want to think about it – it makes me depressed.’ ‘It’s the world – you can’t change it.’

Response: Give us the courage then to say ‘Your Kingdom Come.’ Amen.

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The International Indigenous Peoples Day was first pronounced by the General Assembly of the United Nations in December 1994. It was decided that the International Indigenous People Day shall be observed on 9 August every year. By following this, on 17 September 2010, during the Annual General Body Meeting of the National Council of Churches in India in Bangalore, for the first-time announced observance of the NCCI-Tribal and Adivasi Sunday.  Since 2011, every year the Indian Church is celebrating this day with special Liturgy designed along with the theme for the year.  This year the theme for the International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples is ‘Leaving No One Behind’ (1 Corinthians 10:24).

The Bible Society of India joined hands with the National Council of Churches in India in observing 9th August 2021 as the Tribal and Adivasi Day. Under the leadership of Rev. Dr. M. Mani Chacko, the General Secretary of the Bible Society of India, a very meaningful worship was conducted through the Department of Church Relations and Resource Mobilization. All the 16 Auxiliaries from various parts of India and the Central Office in Bangalore participated in the programmed virtually in solidarity with the Tribal and Adivasi people in India. Special songs and dance (video clipping) from the auxiliaries had added colors and joy of the worship service. Bishop Anand Sebeyan Hermon, who is a retired Bishop of the Gossner Evangelical Lutheran Church, Odisha was our guest speaker for this occasion with the message of justice, peace, dignity and equality of all people. Rev. Dr. M. Mani Chacko, in his final remarks and closing prayer re-iterated the responsibility of the Church and Christian Institutions and Organizations to get actively involved in responding to a call for doing right to those who are wronged and bringing justice for those who are facing the onslaught of systematic and social injustice and discriminations like the people of the Tribals and Adivasis in India.

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E-Newsletter August 2021

Hagar and Sarah – A Liberative Reading of Galatians 4:21-31

Dr.Hrangthan Chhungi
(Director CRRM)

In our given passage, dwelling on one of the infamous traditional tools “portrayals of women” found in many books of the Old Testament by the prophets and the wisdom writers to talk about the paradoxical life of the Israelite society, faith and tradition, the Apostle Paul was trying to explain the dignity and status of a Christian in the kingdom of God by following the New Law laid down by Jesus Christ. He did this in and through the allegorical presentation of Hagar-Ishmael and Sarah-Isaac with Abraham. Though Paul himself was struggling to disown the legacy of the Jewish Law, being a Jew himself, yet, his new faith in Christ helped him to propagate the legacy of the New Law in Christ. Paul did this while writing to the non-Jewish, Greek-speaking community of the Galatians, the gentiles in the language of the New Testament. Paul, by referring to the Old Testament story of the patriarch Abraham, and his struggle for progeny in the midst of God’s promise to be the father of many nations, along with Covenant, Election, Law, Blessings, and Curses, etc. was trying to make these theologies relevant and meaningful for his Galatian audience in Christ alone as the beginning of the New Law –  the new Adam.


Death of our dear colleagues and their immediate family members was emotionally and psychologically stressful.  The General Secretary Rev. Dr. M. Mani Chacko initiated the thought of organizing a Memorial Service to help the bereaving family to cope with the loss of their dear ones.

A Service of Thanksgiving for the lives of BSI Staff and the immediate family members who have gone to be with the Lord recently was organized on July 29, 2021 virtually. Staff across the nation and the family members of the deceased attended the service virtually

The Church Relations and Resource Mobilization Department prepared the order of service for the occasion with a heavy heart. Truly it was an emotional time to pay tributes to 9 of our colleagues and 16 immediate family members of the staff.

Literacy transforming lives at all levels in one of the most challenging parts of the world

“This year my whole family had enough to eat during the dry season. Thanks to the Bible Society’s literacy course, I didn’t only learn to read and write but also found out how to use organic manure in agriculture. 

As a result of this, my crop yields increased. When you apply literacy skills well, it’s possible to make progress and to achieve food security. Matthieu Lompoc, a second-year student, is proud of his new knowledge.

There are many other people who are saying the same things about the literacy project run by the Bible Society in Niger, one of the world’s poorest countries. Reports tell of changes in all aspects of life. The project is meeting a desperate need in this West African country where the overall rate of illiteracy is

I have discovered through the literacy program that animals need to be cared for, just like humans,” he says. “Now that we’re taking good care of our animals, our output has risen, which has improved our financial situation.”

The villagers have also become able to help each other more, explains Elisabeth Oumbo, a teacher on one of the literacy courses.

“The weekly market is held a very long way from our village,” she says. “This means that only a few people can go there, and they have to shop for people who don’t go. The better somebody is able to write, the better they can note down requests. This means that they can really help other villagers.” 


By Mr. Paul Stephen, Director, Publishing and Marketing Department, BSI

A student of a reputed theological college repeatedly called us for copies of the Hebrew and Greek Bibles, anxious to get his personal copy as he was unable to get a copy from his institution. He asked why the Bible Society of India could not print and provide enough copies. Many such requests like this have been made in the past several years.

Bible translation, inspired by God attempts to translate many languages from the languages it was originally written – Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek.


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The Bible Fun Shop, South Gujarat

Bible reading can be done through creative ways. The Bible Fun shops are designed to introduce Kids to digital bible resources and also help kids creatively engage with the stories in the Bible using digital tools.

We set out to the Bible Funshop arranged at Jagiri village in South Gujarat. It took us almost 6 long hours to get to Jagiri, Valsad District, Gujarat. The drive took us through Baroda, Surat and many other places. Enter the Dangs area and the contrast is striking.

We arrived at an English Medium School. Yes, an English Medium School in the middle of nowhere.  The English medium school is the result of one man’s commitment to serve the people in the area: to give them a future and a hope lest they be left out or lost to impoverishment. Interestingly, he belongs to this area. The school is built with a vision to help educationally disadvantaged children in the area. About 235 students study here.

The Gujarat Auxiliary had planned a Bible Funshop at the HIM English School. The Bible Funshop is aimed at helping Digital Natives creatively engage with the Bible.  I had the privilege of interacting with Class VIII students. We had around thirty boys and girls at the Funshop.

We started with a few Bible songs. Then, the kids watched a video of God speaking to the boy Samuel who was growing up with Eli at the Tabernacle. After the video show, I asked the boys to imaginatively write a letter to Hannah about how Samuel felt growing up in the temple all by himself without a family ( in Samuel’s own words). I also asked the girls to imaginatively write a letter to Samuel about how Hannah felt leaving Samuel at the Tabernacle under Eli’s care ( in Hannah’s own words). This reading of the Bible using the tools of imaginative draws its inspiration from Dr. Gerald West’s  Contextual bible studies It was great fun to see the kids use their imagination and write the letter. That it was a residential school added to the understanding of their context as well!

I surprised the kids by asking them to read their letters and make a little Vlog! I also did a quick tutorial about framing, lighting and video capture to help them with the basics of video making. We had very limited time was limited and there wasn’t much we could do. My aim was to trigger their imagination and help them creatively express themselves. The kids throughly enjoyed the activity. Once, everyone had finished with the VLog, we all enjoyed watching the vLogs played on the big screen!

It was a long journey into the Dangs. But, I am grateful to the team from the Gujarat Auxiliary for planning the Bible Funshop at the HEM English School in the Dangs.

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Local Branches add strength to the Bible Cause

The BSI branch is a local fellowship of those committed to the Bible cause. It comprises of members from various denominations who stand united for the Bible cause.

The branch members are active in resource mobilisation programs and other activities. The members meet regularly for prayer once a month and also plan out various activities for promotion, bible distribution advocacy, resource mobilisation. Rev. Matthew Skaria, Secretary, Kerala Auxiliary says, “ We have many such branches all over the State. The method of functioning of each branch various according to local needs and patterns”.

The local branches of the BSI add strength to the work of the BSI and help in reaching the Bible to the many who need it.

We thank God for all the branches of our Auxiliaries all over the country

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