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In reading India’s history we learn of children

being thrown into the Holy Ganges River

as sacrifices to false gods,

in attempting to earn salvation,

avoiding the endless birth-life-death cycle

taught in the Buddhist religion.

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Infants were placed in baskets and hung in trees,

left to die of exposure…

bodies eaten by ants, leaving only the skull.

Women were burned alive

with their husbands’ dead bodies,

on the funeral pyres.

With Christian missionaries William and Dorothy Carey,

over the years changes were made:

schools and colleges were started

(where girls were allowed to attend),

churches and missions began the work of outreach,

the first Indian newspaper was printed,

savings banks were instituted to assist poor farmers,

the practice of burning widows was banned in 1829,

dictionaries were compiled in several native tongues,

and the Bible was translated in over thirty Asian languages.

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Today in Papua New Guinea the story is similar

as most girls are not educated,

The majority of schools in the country are operated

by churches or religious groups.

An aristocratic mentality still exists—

upper class citizens believe education would be wasted on the masses,

lesser beings who do not need or deserve the same opportunities for improvement

that they enjoy.

The wealthy and powerful take advantage

of those uneducated—

because only by ignorance can those in power remain in power.

Government officials have begun recognizing

the attitude and behavioral differences

between students who receive religious instruction

and those who don’t.

In recent years these officials welcome missionaries

into the country and into society,

because of the benefits they’ve seen among their people

when the Bible is taught.

But progress is slow as minds remain closed to the white man’s practices…

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Women are not allowed to instruct or rule over men.

And loudly vocal, strongly opinionated women are “pack-raped,”

(meaning, every man in her village abuses her)

to show her where her place is:

quiet, docile,

in the background, compliant to men,

subservient to the village elders.

Every child needs a village?

I don’t think so.

Females are viewed as property, belonging to the tribe,

to the father, the husband.

Village elders make the decisions

regarding marriages within the tribe.

Girls are sold to become brides at the age of fourteen or fifteen,

and usually give birth within a year.

Being still so young,

these girls often face complications during delivery,

including death.

Within the village mindset,

when a woman is abused by her husband

she cannot leave,

because her family would be required to pay back the money

given to them by the groom’s family.

Money is scarce, and many PNG villagers live simply.

If a woman can’t conceive,

the husband is allowed to take another wife.

The land is blessed with many natural resources,

and those who are willing to work do well.

But in tribal culture

it is the women doing most of the work.

Development is a misnomer,

as village ways still impede progress on many levels.

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Tribal unrest brings difficulties to the entire territory

when conflicts block roads and stop traffic.

In Parliament’s discussions of the need for more paved roads

to handle increased auto traffic,

the decision was made to instead raise the taxes on automobiles—

making it harder for nationals to afford a car,

and eliminating the need for better roads(!)

Cannibalism is part of religious rituals—

the false belief that eating another’s brain will make one wise,

devouring the legs will make one strong…

admiration leads to murder,

even though the one partaking admits to wishing there was a different way to better himself.

Within the families who embrace Jesus Christ, though,

these people are learning to read and write,

their girls are educated (stalling marriage),

men are working harder and taking responsibility for their families,

lifting them out of poverty.

In “developing” nations around the world,

governments want the blessings of freedom,

but not the religious change that’s necessary

to bring true freedom to humanity,

emancipating body and soul.

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Where spiritual darkness prevails,

human life (especially female) has not the value God placed

on those created in His image.

Modern publications and media outlets would have us believe

their simple (*read* village) ways of life

are more desirable than the culture found

in developed (*read* free) nations.

Yet ignorance, poverty, tribal rule and religious fear and superstition

only serve to keep people in bondage

to greater ignorance, poverty, tribal rule and religious fear and superstition.

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This is far from desirable—

for any group of people.

And American women,

especially wealthy, prominent American women,

and especially the woman who wrote the book,

would never willingly subject themselves to the bondage village women endure.

Time and history and culture reveal,

only Christ elevates those who are oppressed,

bringing ones in bondage out of their chains

out of perpetual darkness,

and into His liberating, unshackling,

eternally redeeming light.

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