Let the Little Children Come
by Lois Hoadley Dick
See also Job, Suffering, and Spiritual Warfare: "Struck down, but not destroyed"
“Thousands of young innocent children are condemned to a life of immorality and vice, of suffering and disease and finally of death resulting from infections and venereal diseases contracted in the pursuit of their profession as Hindu religious prostitutes.” Dr. M. Reddi.
"The devadasi [child prostitutes]—servants of the gods—who subsist by dancing and music, and the practice of the oldest profession in the world, are partly recruited by admissions and even purchases from other classes. The daughters of the caste who are brought up to follow the caste profession are carefully taught dancing and singing and the art of dressing well.” The Indian Census Report of 1901.
“No respectable person would dedicate his young girl or child to a temple and throw her to the tender mercies of regular prostitutes or put her in such an unfavorable, loathsome environment, except with the object of seeing her turn out as a prostitute.” Sir Maneckji Tadabhoy (Council of State Debates, Simla, September 1927, p. 1138)
“Sacredness with allurements, religion with lust, art with sensuousness, have combined.” Santosh Chatterjee, Devadasi.
"'A Hindu must not take life, not even put an end to hopeless animal pain,' explains one text. The cow, especially, represents all the gods combined and is equal to a high-caste Brahmin. It is a greater sin to kill a cow than to kill a man. (An estimated 230 million cows wander the streets of India, starving, diseased, suffering thirst. If injured, they are left to die.) In unexplainable contrast, it is permitted to inflict pain upon animals. A bull pulling a cart may have his tail twisted until the bones break to make him hurry.
"A Hindu man fears his soul may
enter hell unless he leaves sons
behind him to pray for his speedy
reincarnation. Only a son can
perform the funeral
ritual so the father may possibly
have a brief stay in heaven....
"Caste (the word means color) began when the Aryan invaders in the year 2000 B.C. conquered India’s black aborigines and dark-skinned Dravidians. Since the deity determines caste, to break caste is a great sin.
"The temples, thousands upon ten thousands all over India, sometimes carved from one solid mountain of rock, were fabulously wealthy, yet the concept of charity did not exist. The temples never gave to anyone; they took only. Idols and shrines were everywhere.
"Amy Carmichael described one scene of worship. The Hindu crouched over a pond or stream or Place of water which represented to him the sacred Ganges. He bathed, then marked his forehead, arms, or breast with his cult signs. Tying up his hair, he scooped up water in the right hand and poured, it into his mouth for inner purification, calling upon his particular god. Then, the regulation of the breath....
"The goddess Kali stood upon the body of a child, her own black tongue lolling out, wearing a necklace of the skulls of children, a headdress of snakes, holding a bloody severed human head, and brandishing a bloody sword. Kali demanded blood sacrifices. Kali was the wife of Shiva, cruel and revengeful. Because she was most feared, she was most worshiped. (pp.40-41)
"A caste of murderous stranglers
called Thugs were once devoted to
Kali. Their young sons learned in
the home how to throw a kerchief
around a neck and slowly suffocate a
person. Every year thousands of
human beings were thus sacrificed to
Kali in the name of religion. ...
Indian morality was the caste system
with its mighty taboos....
"Ordinary, everyday scenes of
animist worship were dark and
repellent. 'Main bookhi hun! I am
hungry!' was the cry of Kali. An
outcaste Indian stood by the shrine
where kid goats were sacrificed and
tore the throat of a living goat
with his teeth. Throwing it atop the
heap of bodies on one side he seized
the next kid—on and on, a practice
abhorrent to orthodox Hindus, who do
not take life."
"Sacred prostitution was common in
the Middle East. The devadasis
as a caste began in the ninth and
tenth centuries, when most of the
South India were built.
Dubois, writing in the late 1700s,
said the devadasis were
originally for the exclusive use of
"In 1870, a Dr. Shortt wrote a paper on the devadasis, certifying that children of age five were used, and children were often kidnapped. In 1892, a man named Fawcett wrote an article in the Anthropological Society of Bombay’s Journal describing children dedicated to a god even before their birth.... [p.43]
"The duties of the temple girls were to carry the kumbarti (the sacred light); to fan the idol with chamaras (fans); to dance and sing before the god. They were the only women who could read and write, play an instrument, and sing and dance. Their presence was believed to bring good luck to a wedding, and they had power to avert the 'evil eye.'
"Indian dancing was a form of storytelling, religious in nature. The position of hands, arms, fingers, the flick of a finger or the subtle movements of eyes, all were significant to the watcher.
music is hypnotic. Tight,
tense little taps on a drum,
then faster, doubling each drum
beat, tripling each thrum, harder
and faster. A dancer
begins to tap her foot to the
rhythm, then her hips sway, her
hands undulate until, leaping into
the center like an uncoiling spring,
she and the drum
merge and are one. Today the
classical dances of the
devadasis are performed as
entertainment on stages of the
"A converted temple woman confirmed
the rumors of a secret
underground traffic in children.
The child, age eight or nine, was
dressed like a
bride and taken with another girl of
the same community dressed like a
boy in the garb of a bridegroom.
They both went to the temple to
the idol. The girl sat facing the
god, and the priest gave her
flowers and a sandal. He recited
mantras and lighted the sacred fire.
The tali—marriage symbol—was... a
necklace of black beads with a
golden disc hanging from it. The
garland was put over the idol,
after which it was put around the
girl’s neck. She was now married to
the god, without her knowledge,
knowing nothing of the implications.
"The one who was to dance before the
gods was given to the life when very
young, otherwise she could not be
trained properly. Many babies
given to temple women because it was
very meritorious to give a child to
the gods. If the child was old
enough to miss her mother, she was
carefully watched until she had
forgotten her. Sometimes she was
shut up in the back part of the
temple house and punished if she ran
out into the
street. Sometimes a child was
branded with a hot iron under
the arm where it did not show.
Sometimes she got just a whipping.
"She was taught to read and learn a great deal of poetry, which was almost entirely debased. The child’s mind was familiarized with sin, and before she knew how to refuse the evil and choose the good, the instinct that would have been her guide was perverted, until the mind was incapable of choice. [p.45]
Every temple had a garbha-griha
— a womb house—where an idol
stood, representing the god,
and behind the god the power of
"This was the environment for countless thousands of little children in India. Amy Carmichael, still not knowing of those children, faced the deadness and corruption of the Christian church; the power of Hinduism, caste and customs; the enervating climate; and the lack of sympathy from Christians in both India and Britain.
"She was to learn that conversion in India meant not only an acceptance of Christ but a renouncing of all things Hindu. And the renouncing was the crucifying part." [p.46]