India (Mission Network News) — Sumani, a 16-year-old girl in India, is being pressured by her mother to become a devadasi—essentially a religious prostitute who is dedicated in “marriage” to a Hindu deity. Once dedicated, devadasis are not allowed to marry any man and are taken advantage of in the temples.
Sumani participates in a Children’s Bible Club through Grand Rapids, Michigan-based Mission India, and the ministry is asking believers to pray for her.
Unfortunately, Sumani’s situation isn’t uncommon for young girls in more rural or impoverished areas in India. Erik Morsehead with Mission India says, “There’s an estimated 50,000 [devadasis] in South India alone.”