Excerpts from

Amy Carmichael

Let the Little Children Come

by Lois Hoadley Dick

See also Job, Suffering, and Spiritual Warfare: "Struck down, but not destroyed"

For Our Children


“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."

Temple Prostitution


"Sacred prostitution was common in the Middle East. The devadasis as a caste began in the ninth and tenth centuries, when most of the temples in South India were built.

"Abbe Dubois, writing in the late 1700s, said the devadasis were originally for the exclusive use of the Brahmans....

"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.


"Indian 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 world.... p.44

"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 worship 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. [p.44-45]

"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 were 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 very 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 Satan.

"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."

See also Job, Suffering, and Spiritual Warfare: "Struck down, but not destroyed"