Full Text

India, Christianity in

Subject Religion » Christianity

Place Southern Asia » India

DOI: 10.1111/b.9780631181392.1995.x


[ xiii.b ] Tradition claims that the A postle Thomas reached India, and several churches survive from 4th-century ce Nestorian origins ( see C hristology ). They are the Malabarese and Malankarese Catholics, S yrian orthodox , Jacobite and Nestorian (Mellusian) Churches, and the Mar Thoma church ( see T homas christians ). Western Christianity arrived with the Portuguese and notably the Jesuits ( see M onasticism ) St Francis Xavier (1506–52) and Robert de Nobili (1577–1656). De Nobili influenced high-C aste Indians by acting like a Hindu G uru. The English East India Company was hostile to M issions but the B aptist William Carey (1761–1834) landed in 1793. In 1813 the influence of the ‘Clapham Sect’ ( see R evivalism ) opened India to P rotestantism. Alexander Duff (1806–78) initiated educational missions to the higher castes and, by the end of the 19th century, although all religions were tolerated by the government, American and European Protestant missions were numerous. Mass conversions occurred among the poorer castes. Political independence (1947) hastened the independence of local churches. Christianity in India, although more successful than in Pakistan, amounts to only 3% of the population. Westernization in India, however, has probably helped it to become more influential than in C hina. The Church of South India (1947) incorporates A nghcanism , C ongregationalism ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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