They were avoided by people from India’s higher castes. These dalits,
the so-called “untouchables,” were the lowest caste in the Hindu
culture. To be a dalit is to be without hope for a future. Someone
cared for them, however, and was willing to risk it all to help them.
Yesu Dasu loved the untouchables, and put that love into action by
befriending and helping them. When others ran away, he came closer.
He gave them back their dignity. As a mirror of Christ’s love, the fifty two-year-old Christian preacher came to bring healing to their souls.
The roaring of the motorcycle engine outside disrupted the quiet
dinner of Dasu and his family. As Dasu rose to look out the window, two men began pounding on the door. “Yesu Dasu,” they shouted. “Open up! There is someone who wants to speak to you, and you must come with us now.” Dasu slowly opened the door and looked at the men. “Who?” he asked.
“There is no time to talk. You must come with us now,” they responded.
They grabbed his arm and ushered him to the motorcycle. Dasu’s wife and
children stared out the window as the motorcycle raced away. After putting the children to bed, his wife patiently waited for her husband to return. She read her Bible as she waited, and eventually fell asleep.
The morning sun streaming through the window awoke her with a
start. She struggled to remember the events of the night before and why
she had been sleeping in the chair. Filled with dread, she realized Dasu
had never come home. Waking her children, she got them dressed, and
together they searched the village for their father.
Dasu’s wife heard her name called and looked up to see one of her
village neighbors hurrying toward her. He wrapped his arms around her.
“I’m so sorry,” he said. “They found his body. He’s dead.”
Near a cattle barn on the outskirts of town, Dasu lay in a pool of
blood, his head and other parts severed from his body. Four members of
a radical Hindu group had tied his hands and cut him with an axe.
Dasu had been threatened numerous times by members of a radical
Hindu group, and he had been warned not to preach in the area. But he
had ignored the threats. God had called him to preach, and he would
answer that call.
He was a simple and humble man who served society and was
respected by the villagers. His ministry to dalits, touching the untouchables, reflected his desire to reach all of God’s people. Yesu Dasu not only preached the truth of Christianity, he lived out his faith. Through his life and work, many have come to know the Truth and now spend their lives ministering to others. Dasu demonstrated God’s love to the least of those around him without regard for his own well-being. In doing so he earned the highest honor—a martyr’s crown.
This story is an excerpt from Foxe: Voices of the Martyrs. You can get your own copy free with any donation to The Voice of the Martyrs.