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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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PRINTED FROM EDINBURGH SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.edinburgh.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Edinburgh University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ESO for personal use.date: 27 June 2022

West India

West India

(p.131) West India
Christianity in South and Central Asia

Atul Y. Aghamkar

Edinburgh University Press

West India, inclusive of Gujarat, Maharashtra and Goa, is the most urbanised and socio-religiously progressive part of India and constitutes 14.32% of its total population (2011). Christians can be traced back to the sixth century. The arrival of Vasco de Gama ushered in a new epoch of Roman Catholic mission in India. Protestant missionary work among the low castes challenged upper-caste reformers to combat social evils. Pentecostal and Charismatic groups, such as the New Life Fellowship, began to permeate the urban landscape in the late twentieth century. Today, the church in West India remains largely stagnant, often struggling with leadership and property issues. Converts hailing from both upper and lower castes contributed to produce liturgy written in the local dialects. With the emergence of Dalit theology, some West Indian theologians faded into the background, and engagement from a subaltern perspective dominated the theological scene. Religious fundamentalism continues to pose a threat to Christian evangelism. Despite unfavourable conditions in West India, Christians have been more involved in politics than before. In reality, most urban churches are growing because of rural–urban migration and not necessarily because of conversions.

Keywords:   India, Dalit, Christianity, Hinduism, Pentecostal, Fundamentalism

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