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Christianity in South and Central Asia$
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Kenneth R. Ross, Daniel Jeyaraj, and Todd M. Johnson

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781474439824

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: May 2021

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474439824.001.0001

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North India

North India

(p.119) North India
Christianity in South and Central Asia

Leonard Fernando SJ

Edinburgh University Press

The Christian population in North India is varied, from less than 1% (in most North Indian states) to 22% in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Many fix its emergence in the 16th century, when Jesuits were invited by the Muslim Emperor Akbar the Great. By the beginning of the nineteenth century, many Protestant missionary societies were established in India. Six churches in India united in 1970, forming the Church of North India (CNI). Recently, Christians have been attacked as a threat to the hierarchical social system and threatened by radical Hindu fundamentalism. Amidst the persecutions, Christianity has continued in unique paradigms: whether in the adoption ashram life to promote the mystical traditions of Christianity as well as Hinduism, in translations of the Bible into tribal languages; or in the faculties of philosophy and theology in North India preparing men and women for ministry. Religious communities and NGOs in North India have served those at the peripheries. Lack of growth of Christian communities can be attributed to hostility against Dalit Christians who risk losing constitutional protection given to other Dalits. In fact, the collaboration of lay Christians is on the increase through different associations, basic Christian communities and Charismatic movements.

Keywords:   Hinduism, Christianity, India, Dalits, Persecution

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