Religions in India

Christianity came to India about 2000 years ago. Indian Christians are basically divided into two sects - Indian Catholics and Indian Protestants. Protestants and Catholics in India are mostly converted Christians.

Christianity


Christian Religion in India

Christian Religion in India - A significant portion (2.5%) of Indian population is Christian. The religion originates in Israel and reached India and Europe about 2000 years ago. Jesus Christ, the founder of Christianity started off as a Jew and Christianity, at first, was considered a Jewish cult. The Christian Apostles mainly worked in Europe to convert the Europeans to Christianity while St Judas Thomas came to India and rounded of Indians to Christianity. St Thomas, a carpenter by profession was the disciple of Jesus and came to India to work for a merchant and build the temple. He came to India in 52 AD and landed in Kerala and convinced the locals to adopt Christianity. The converts were known as Syrian Christians and included Jews that were converted by St. Judas. Later, in the 15th century, the missionaries who came to India with European merchants who used to trade spices converted Indians to Christianity.

The representatives of Great Britain, France, Denmark, Netherlands and Portugal landed in India but most enthusiastic of baptizing Indians were the Portuguese, who were the first Europeans to come to the country in 1498 led by Vasco DaGama and were inspired by the Pope to convert local Indians as well as Syrian Christians to Catholicism. Later, English and Dutch converted Portuguese churches according to their styles after defeating them. British barred the missionaries to enter their territory until 1813. Only then, did the different churches established missionaries in their territory and not only spread Christianity but also engaged themselves in social service and humanitarian deeds such as providing basic necessities of life to the poor natives such as food, clothes and shelter along with building schools and hospitals for them, which earned them quite a lot of respect.

These church missionaries were not quiet as successful as the Portuguese but were able to convert people to Protestant Christians voluntarily and not by forcing them. Playing with the Indian custom of the wife following the same religion as husband's, they married with Indian women and converted them to Christianity. Today, there are about 30 million Christians in India! The majority of Christians can be found in Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Goa, Manipur and Mizoram and especially in Mumbai. Indian Christans follow Catholicism or Protestantism and have different denominations such as Syrian Church, Armenian Church, Anglican Church and others. The Anglo-Indian community in India is also Christian mostly and is actually the descendants of the Europeans who married the local Indians.