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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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(p.211) Catholics
Christianity in South and Central Asia

Felix Wilfred

Edinburgh University Press

Small Catholic communities in Central Asia drew world attention from the visit of Pope John Paul II to Kazakhstan in 2001. Russian Orthodoxy has been the dominant Christian tradition in the region, and has enjoyed state support. Evangelical, Charismatic and Pentecostal groups have done much proselytising, to the chagrin of the Russian Orthodox Church. South Asian Catholicism has experienced much conflict, lately around and between the Oriental and Latin traditions, ethnic strife being among them, leading to a concession of double jurisdiction in some parts. While the clergy plays an important role in the overall management of the Catholic Church, criticism has come from the Dalits who fight for acceptance as equals. The early twenty-first century has seen the adaptation of many Pentecostal forms of worship. Modern South Asian Catholic theology stresses the universal presence of the Holy Spirit in peoples of other religious traditions, and inspiration of sacred texts of other religions. Conversion has been banned in some Indian states, increasing state control over the activities of the Catholic Church, including the flow of foreign funds. Institutions of the official Church might come under government control and censure, making their operation more difficult.

Keywords:   Catholicism, Dalits, Conversion, Clergy, Pentecostal, Asian, Indigenous, Oriental, Latin

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