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The River Can’t Clean Itself

The Ganges River is one of the world’s largest fresh water outlets, after the Amazon and the Congo. The headwaters emerge from a glacier high in the western Himalayas, and then drops down steep mountain canyons to India’s fertile northern plain. Just after it merges with the Brahmaputra, the Ganges empties into the Bay of Bengal. It supports more than a quarter of India’s 1.4 billion people, all of Nepal, and part of Bangladesh.

But sadly, the Ganges has also long been one of the world’s most polluted rivers. The river is befouled by poisonous bi-products from hundreds of factories and towns. Arsenic, chromium, and mercury combine with the hundreds of millions of gallons of raw sewage that flow into the river on a daily basis.

But despite countless studies and evidence proving the river's polluted state, environmentalists have gained little traction in cleaning up the river. Why?

The Ganges River is a sacred waterway worshipped by a billion Hindus as Mother Ganga, a living goddess with power to purify the soul, and to cleanse itself. A recent article in National Geographic explains: “There is this belief that the river can clean itself. If the river can clean itself, then why should we have to worry about it? Many people say the river cannot be polluted; it can go on forever.”

Possible Preaching Angle:

False gods are capable of cleaning neither themselves or their worshippers. Only Jesus can purify the pollution of the human heart.


Laura Parker. "Plastic Runs Through It." National Geographic (3-15-22)

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