India, Christianity in
INDIA, CHRISTIANITY IN
After a brief overview of the history and culture of India, this entry surveys the history and present status of Christianity in that country, covering the three principal Christian communities: (1) the indigenous St. Thomas Christians, (2) the Latin Christians (Roman Catholics), and (3) the Protestant Christians.
THE LAND, ITS PEOPLES AND RELIGIONS
Located in South Asia, the Indian subcontinent is surrounded by the Arabian Sea (west), the Bay of Bengal (east), the Indian Ocean (south) and the Himalayan mountains (north). It is home to the Indus Valley civilization (c. 2,500 b.c.), one of the oldest civilizations in the world. Aryan tribes from central Asia invaded the northwestern region of India around 1500 b.c., pushing the original inhabitants, the Dravidians, to the south. The invading Aryans and native Dravidians gradually intermingled, forming a composite culture and ethnicity. Arabs and Turkish Muslims came to India in the 8th and 12th century respectively. Muslim rulers governed a significant portion of India until the arrival of the European powers. Vasco da Gama led the first Portuguese expedition to India in 1498, paving the way for the colonization by the Portuguese, the Dutch, the French, and the British. The struggle for national independence gained momentum in the 20th century under the pacifist resistance movement of Mahatma Gandhi. The Indian subcontinent gained independence from Britain in 1947, but was partitioned into the secular nation of India and the Muslim nation of Pakistan. Present-day India is a federal republic with a Westminster-style parliamentary democracy within the British Commonwealth. The Indian Federation comprises 28 states and 6 union territories.
India is the birthplace of several world religions: hinduism, buddhism, jainism and sikhism. It has welcomed other major religions, e.g., Christianity, Islam, Judaism and Zoroastrianism. Hinduism was originally the Vedic religion of the Aryans, but it absorbed many of the beliefs and practices of the native Dravidians. Buddhism and Jainism emerged in the 6th and 5th centuries b.c. respectively. Islam came to India with the Arab and Turkish invaders between the 8th and 12th centuries.
THE ST. THOMAS CHRISTIANS
This section describes the origins, history and present situation of the St. Thomas Christians in India, who trace the foundation of their community to St. thomas the apostle (Mar Thoma in Syriac).
Origins. According to an ancient South Indian oral tradition, St. Thomas, one of the 12 apostles, sailed to India and landed at Cranganore (Kodungalloor) on the coast of ancient Malabar (present-day Kerala) in the year 52 a.d. There he converted many high caste Hindus and established several Christian communities. He made his way to the Coromandel Coast on the eastern part of India and converted many before heading for China. After preaching the Gospel in China, he returned to Kerala and organized the Christian communities there and proceeded again to the Coromandel Coast where he was martyred. The Apostle of India was buried in Mylapore, close to Chennai (Madras). The early Christians built a pilgrimage shrine at his tomb.
No primary evidence of this ancient tradition exist today. Some scholars speculate that this ancient oral tradition was later recorded in the local languages and in Syriac, the ancient liturgical language of the Malabar Christians, before the manuscripts were lost or destroyed during the period of Portuguese rule. Some of these traditions are found in the ancient odes of Malabar, e.g., Rabban Pattu, Veeradiyan Pattu, and Margam Kali Pattu. The oldest written texts of these odes and other surviving accounts can only be traced back to the 17th century. The travel narratives of Cosmas Indicopleustes, an Egyptian who visited Arabia, East Africa and India around the year 530, as well as those of John of Monte Corvino (1292), and Jordan Catalani (1319) all record the mission of St. Thomas and early presence of Christians in India. The 16th and 17th century Portuguese documents are important sources of information on St. Thomas' mission to India, and the early history of the St. Thomas Christians. The Portuguese also visited the tomb of St. Thomas and made some excavations and recovered some relics in 1523.
Many church historians, including L. W. Brown, E. Tisserant, Placid Podipara, E. R. Hambye, and Mathias
Mundadan, point out that although the Malabar traditions are replete with the stories and legends from the Apocry phal Acts of Judas Thomas, St. Thomas's mission in south India is not only a possibility, it has a firm historical foundation on the basis of the unbroken South Indian Christian tradition, the sustained consciousness of the Malabar Christians of their apostolic origin, the presence of the tomb of St. Thomas in Mylapore and other associ ated monuments, and on the basis of references of early Christian witnesses.
The historical relationship between the St. Thomas Christians and the East Syrian (Chaldean) Church in Persia from the earliest times is based on two historical events. The first event was the arrival in Cranganore (Kodungalloor) of a group of East-Syrian Christians led by a certain Knai Thomman (Thomas Kinayi) around the fourth century. It remains unclear whether he was a merchant, a traveler or a pilgrim, whether he came to assist the St. Thomas Christians who were facing a leadership crisis, or whether he was leading a group of Christians who fled their homeland to escape from persecution. The second event was the arrival of another such group of Christians from Persia along with their two Church leaders, Mar Sapor and Mar Prot, around the 9th century.
Though various stories and traditions exist around these two events, a few points are undisputed. First, the Persian Christians brought new vigor, leadership, and a new liturgical tradition, i.e., the East Syrian (Chaldean) tradition to the fledging St. Thomas Christian community. Second, the St. Thomas Christians warmly welcomed these Persian Christians and, according to the received tradition, the Kings of Kerala bestowed land and royal honors on them. Third, until the arrival of the Portuguese missionaries, the Persian Church exercised jurisdiction and oversight over the St. Thomas Christians. There is no evidence of any resistance or resentment against Persian ecclesiastical rule on the part of the St. Thomas Christians. On the contrary, during the Portuguese padroado rule (see patronato real), the St. Thomas Christians appeared to yearn for Persian oversight. Fourth, there is an endogamous group among the St. Thomas Christians known as Southists (Thekkumbhagar) or the Knanaya community. Northists (Vadakkumbhagar) are said to be the ethnic St. Thomas Christian Indians, while the Southists are descendants of the emigrants from Persia led by Knai Thomman, who probably settled in the southern part of the Christian settlement.
Practices of the Early St. Thomas Christians. Much of what is known about the lifestyle and practices of the early St. Thomas Christians comes from written Portuguese accounts from the 16th to the 18th centuries, in addition to the living oral tradition that has been handed down through successive generations. From these sources, the following picture emerges: The St. Thomas Christians appeared to have their own unique lifestyle and practices from the earliest days. They were able to integrate their Christian faith to the wider socio-cultural customs and practices which they shared with their Hindu neighbors. Historically, the St. Thomas Christians enjoyed high social status and many social, political and royal privileges in Kerala along with their upper-caste Hindu counterparts. They followed the customs of the nobility such as feeding a newborn with powdered gold mixed with honey, teaching children to write the letters of the alphabet for the first time with rice, ceremonial baths and other purification rituals, the marriage ritual of tying the tali (a gold ornament in the Hindu style, but with the marking of a cross on it) on the bride's neck and giving her a mantrakodi (bridal veil), as well as uppercaste funerary and death customs and rituals. During this period, the men of the St. Thomas Christian community pierced their ear-lobes, wore ornaments and styled their hair akin to the Hindus, but wore a cross on the tuft of hair. The St. Thomas Christians also practiced the rules of untouchability and pollution, with women living in separate quarters where they were specially protected. Churches were constructed according to the model of Hindu temples. While accepting and practicing Christian faith, they did not break away from their ancestral socialcultural traditions. Historians have described the pre-Portuguese St. Thomas Christians as "Hindu in culture, Christian in religion and Oriental in worship" (Placid Podipara).
Ecclesial structure and administration. The leadership and administration of the St. Thomas Christians combined East-Syrian ecclesial elements with indigenous Dravidian customs. The title of the Metropolitan was "Metropolitan and the Gate of All India," the word "gate" signifying sublime authority. The Metropolitans enjoyed quasi-Patriarchal authority. As Persian emissaries from the Chaldean Church, they were spiritual leaders who exercised the powers of holy orders, performing ordinations, blessings, and consecration of Churches as representatives of the Chaldean Patriarch. As the Metropolitans were foreigners who often did not speak the local dialects, the actual administration of the community lay in the hands of the archdeacon, who was always a native Dravidian. The position post of the archdeacon was also hereditary. Historically, the archdeacon was called the "Prince and Head of the Christian Community" and he was responsible for the whole community before the local king.
Another indigenous institution was the yogam or malankara yogam, which was the national assembly or synod of the whole Church and had the ultimate authority in dealing with all the matters of the Church. Lay and clerical representatives from all parishes were members of the yogam, presided over by the archdeacon. Similarly, all parishes had parish assemblies or palliyogams, which consisted of all the clergy and the heads of all of the families of the parish. The oldest priest in the parish presided over the palliyogam. The palliyogam has survived in present-day St. Thomas Christian communities. Both the yogam and palliyogam had real decision-making authority within the St. Thomas Christian community. On this basis, some historians regard the pre-Portuguese Church of St.Thomas in India as a Christian republic.
Christian-Hindu Relations. Before the arrival of the Portuguese missionaries, this ancient Church adopted
a positive understanding of Hinduism, cultivating good relations with its Hindu neighbors in a spirit of communal harmony. The St. Thomas Christians held the view that "each one can be saved in his own law, all laws are right," the term "law" referring to other religions. The Synod of diamper condemned this idea as one of the many egregious errors of St. Thomas Christians. The same synod also condemned another view held by the St. Thomas Christians that they were following "the Law of Thomas" whereas the Portuguese were following "the Law of Peter." What the St. Thomas Christians meant was not that they had two different faiths, but that each ecclesial community has its own ancient customs and sacred traditions which the other communities should respect. The Portuguese missionaries who came into contact with the St. Thomas Christians neither understood nor respected their customs and traditions. This resulted in conflict and schism within the St. Thomas Christian community.
The Advent of Portuguese Missionaries. India had some contacts with Latin Christianity in the 13th and 14th centuries through European travelers: john of monte corvino visited in 1292, and Jordan Catalani visited in 1319. However, Latin Christianity was established in India only with the arrival of the Portuguese in the 15th century. Vasco da Gama, the Portuguese navigator, landed in Kozhikode, South India, in 1498. The local St. Thomas Christians gave an enthusiastic welcome to the powerful Portuguese fleet and the padroado missionaries who accompanied them.
As Portuguese missionaries came in greater numbers, they began to interfere in the affairs of the St. Thomas Christians. Attempts to control and latinize them began mainly with the establishment of a seminary in Metropolitan See of Cranganore (Kodungalloor) around 1550 by the Franciscan friar Vicente de Lagos during the episcopacy of Bishop Mar Jacob. All those who were
trained in the seminary were formed in the Latin tradition and European cultural practices. With the death of Mar Jacob around 1552, Portuguese missionaries in collusion with the Portuguese political authorities began to block the arrival of Persian Metropolitans, seeking to bring the St. Thomas Christians completely under the jurisdiction of Portuguese Metropolitan of goa. Occasionally, a few Persian bishops managed to undermine the Portuguese blockade: Mar Joseph and Mar Elias came in 1555, and Mar Abraham slipped into India on two occasions. In 1569 Mar Abraham took up residency in Angamaly, the metropolitan seat of the St. Thomas Christians, and ruled the St. Thomas Christians until his death in 1597. During his episcopacy, Jesuit missionaries introduced Latin ecclesial usages among the St. Thomas Christians, including priestly celibacy, confession before communion, burying the dead near the churches, and some feasts of the Latin calendar. In 1585, at the third Provincial Council of Goa, it was decreed that the Roman Pontifical and Sacramentary be translated into Syriac for the use of the St. Thomas Christians.
The death of Mar Abraham in 1597 marked a turning point in the history of the St. Thomas Christians. The Portuguese archbishop Alexis de Menezes of Goa arrived in Kerala, seeking to bring the St. Thomas Christians completely under the padroado jurisdiction. Mar Abraham had been already accused of heresy as he became estranged with the Jesuit missionaries. Archbishop Alexis de Menezes visited churches and ordained several priests in the Latin Rite. Despite fierce opposition from the archdeacon and the St. Thomas Christian community, Archbishop Menezes summoned a synod, which became known as the Synod of Diamper.
The Synod of Diamper. The Synod of Diamper was held in the parish church of Diamper (Udayamperoor) near Ernakulam, Kerala, in June of 1599. A total of 153 priests and 660 lay representatives attended the synod, as it was the custom of the yogam of the Malabar Church to include the laity. Many clergy refused to attend the synod as a mark of displeasure and protest against Menezes's interference. The official acts of the synod comprised the profession of faith and decrees on the sacraments, especially the Eucharist, corrections of "errors" in liturgical books, the reduction of the juridical status of the ancient metropolitan see of Angamaly to that of a Latin suffragan see under the padroado Metropolitan of Goa, and the expurgation of supposed errors in the customs and traditions of the St. Thomas Christians. Menezes had prepared the decrees in Portuguese; they were translated into the vernacular and all attendees of the synod were forced to sign under duress and pain of excommunication. After the synod ended, Menezes stayed behind for several months, visiting parishes and implementing the synodal decrees. He also promulgated a decree that all who possessed Syriac books and manuscripts should hand over them to him on his visit under the threat of excommunication. Some of the books were corrected but many of them were burned by Menezes personally.
Many contemporary historians argue that the synod was invalid on the grounds that it was convoked without authority, it was not conducted in accordance with ecclesial canons, and it was never explicitly approved by Rome, which had merely authorized Archbishop Menezes to appoint a successor to Mar Abraham. Menezes never received authorization from Rome to convoke a synod to reform the ecclesial life and traditions of the St. Thomas Christians. The Portuguese Jesuit Francis Ros, Menezes's assistant who later became the first Latin bishop of Angamaly conceded that Menezes modified the synodal acts and unilaterally added new ones. In any event, the Synod of Diamper resulted in the latinization of the St. Thomas Christian communities. The synodal decrees condemned many of the ancient indigenous customs and traditions and latinized their Chaldean liturgy, prayers and devotions. It also resulted in the destruction of a significant number of valuable Syriac manuscripts and books on the suspicion of heresy. Historians are unanimous in concluding that the Synod of Diamper almost destroyed the identity of a unique and ancient church in India.
The Koonen Cross Oath. Resentment and violent reactions followed the Synod of Diamper. An outright rebellion occurred in 1653 during the episcopacy of the Jesuit archbishop of Goa, Francis Garcia. Bishop Attallah, a Syrian, was sent to Malabar by the Coptic Catholic Patriarch of Cairo at the request of the archdeacon of the St. Thomas Christians. Bishop Atallah reached Mylapore in 1653. But the Portuguese took him by force and shipped him to Goa. When the news spread that Atallah had arrived in the port city of Cochin on his way to Goa, many of the St. Thomas Christians gathered there. But they were denied permission to meet him, and a rumor soon spread that he had been drowned in the sea by the Portuguese. The angry and desperate Christians assembled before a cross (the "Koonen Cross") and swore that they would never submit to the authority of the Jesuit missionaries and never obey the archbishop of Goa. A few months later, many leading priests from among the St. Thomas Christians gathered at Alangad and consecrated Archdeacon Thomas as their bishop. This revolt of 1653 caused the tragic division among the St. Thomas Christians into two communities, those who maintained communion with bishop Garcia and the dissident group led by the archdeacon. Later in 1665 the dissident group received Mar Gregorios, a bishop from the Syrian (Jacobite) Patriarch of Antioch. As a result of their affiliation with the Syrian patriarchate, they became popularly known as the Jacobites.
Conflict and Confusion. Having realized the seriousness of the situation, the Congregation for the propa gation of faith sent several Discalced Carmelites, with Joseph Sebastiani as the Apostolic Commissary, to Malabar to study the situation. They arrived in Malabar in 1657 and returned to Rome in 1658, and Sebastiani came back to Malabar in 1661 as the Vicar Apostolic. In 1663 the Dutch captured the area and expelled Sebastiani. Before leaving, Sebastiani managed to consecrate a local Indian priest, Chandy Parampil (Alexander de Campo) as the Vicar Apostolic. Things were starting to look better for the St. Thomas Christians, when the death of bishop Chandy plunged the situation back to chaos. The long period of 200 years from the death of bishop Chandy in 1687 until the establishment of separate dioceses for the St. Thomas Christians in 1887 was one of utter confusion and conflict in the history of the St. Thomas Christians. During this period several heads of the Jacobite communities expressed interest in entering into a communion with the Church of Rome. But the padroado missionaries and the bishops vehemently opposed all such endeavors. Around 1773, Joseph Cariattil and Thomas Paremmakkal, two eminent priests and representatives of the St. Thomas Christian community, set out for Rome and Lisbon to inform Church authorities of the problems of their Church, to plead for steps to be taken toward the reunion of the Catholic and Jacobite wings of the St. Thomas Christians, and the restoration of the ancient Oriental ecclesial and liturgical traditions for the St. Thomas Christians. Their mission to Lisbon was somewhat successful. Cariattil was consecrated as the Archbishop of Cranganore (Kodungalloor) with the approval of Rome. The Congregation for the Propagation of the Faith vested Cariattil with the authority to receive Mar Thomas VI and the Jacobite community into communion with the Catholic Church. Upon returning, Archbishop Cariattil fell ill in Goa and died prematurely, scuttling all efforts at effecting a reunion.
Memoranda went to Rome and Lisbon from the St. Thomas Christians with repeated requests for their own bishops and permission to restore their ancient ecclesial and liturgical heritage. The most significant of these was the Angamaly Padiyola of 1787, drawn up by representatives from 84 St. Thomas Christian parishes and addressed to Rome, demanding their own bishops and listing the abuses of padroado clergy and foreign missionaries. But both the padroado ecclesial leadership and the Carmelite missionaries assigned to that region repeatedly overruled all their efforts to procure indigenous bishops or restore their ancient usages. Finally the St. Thomas Christians once again turned to the East Syrian Patriarchs for assistance. The Chaldean Catholic Patriarch Joseph Audo sent a bishop Thomas Rockos. Upon arrival in Cochin in 1861, he was ordered to leave immediately. He refused to do so, and was excommunicated by the Vicar Apostolic of Varapuzha. From 1861 until his return to Baghdad in 1862, his presence caused yet another schism. The same fate befell a second Catholic Chaldean bishop, Mar Elias Mellus, whom Patriarch Audo sent in 1874. As Rome took strong action against the patriarch, Mellus was recalled home. The Syrian Christians of the Assyrian Church of India, popularly known as the Surais, who are in communion with the assyrian church of the east, are the descendants of those St. Thomas Christians in the Trichur (Thrissur) region who broke away and rallied around Mar Mellus.
Restoration of Autonomy. The Chaldean Catholic Patriarch's interventions alerted Rome to the longsimmering dissatisfaction of the St. Thomas Christians. In 1887 Pope leo xiii agreed to remove the St. Thomas Christians from the jurisdiction of the Latin bishops. Two Syro-Malabar vicariates in Trichur (Thrissur) and Kottayam were erected. To the disappointment of the St. Thomas Christians, the two vicars apostolic who were appointed—Adolf Medlycott and Charles Levigne—were foreigners. The struggles of the St. Thomas Christians for autonomy came to fruition in 1896, when Rome established three vicariates apostolic with local Indian bishops: Thrissur, with bishop John Menacherry, Ernakulam, with bishop Louis Pazheparampil, and Changanacherry with bishop Mathew Makil. In 1911, a fourth vicariate apostolic at Kottayam was erected for the endogamous Knanaya community.
Today, the St. Thomas Christians no longer form one church, but are found within the Catholic, Syrian Oriental Orthodox, East Syrian (Assyrian) and reformed traditions, in eight separate ecclesial entities:
1. The Syro-Malabar Catholic Church. The largest St. Thomas Christian community which is in communion with the Church of Rome, with an ecclesial heritage that combines aspects of Indian, Syrian and Latin Christian traditions and customs. It is based mainly in Kerala, India, but has large diasporic communities in India and throughout the world, especially in the United States. It has a flourishing church life, with many clerical and religious vocations, and numerous missionaries working in the Latin dioceses of India and other parts of the world, especially in Africa, Europe and the Americas. In 1911 a new diocese was erected for the Knanaya community Kottayam. In 1923 Pope pius xi established a fullfledged Syro-Malabar hierarchy for the St. Thomas Christians. On Dec. 16, 1992, by the decree Quae maiori, Pope john paul ii elevated the Syro-Malabar Church to a sui juris Major Archiepiscopal Church. As a major archiepiscopal church, the yogam of the Syro-Malabar Church has full and independent powers in all matters including the election of its leader, the major archbishop, an appointment which merely requires papal confirmation. A petition is pending before the Holy See for the elevation of the Syro-Malabar Church to patriarchal status. For specific aspects of the history, present situation and liturgy of the Syro-Malabar Church see syro-malabar church and syro-malabar liturgy.
2. The Malankara (Indian) Orthodox Syrian Church (Methran Kakshi).
3. The Syrian Orthodox Jacobite Church (Bava Kakshi). The descendants of the first wave of St. Thomas Christians who broke away as a result of the Koonen Cross Revolt of 1653. Subsequently, they accepted the oversight of the Syrian (Jacobite) Patriarch of Antioch who required that they embrace West Syrian (Antiochene) customs and usages. As a result of their allegiance to the Syrian Jacobite Patriarch of Antioch, they are popularly known as Jacobites. After a prolonged period of factional fighting, internal conflicts and lawsuits on the question of allegiance to the Syrian Patriarch and control of church property which had erupted at the beginning of the 20th century and went all the way to the Indian Supreme Court, the Jacobite community permanently splintered into two: the Syrian Orthodox Jacobite Church (Bava Kakshi, i.e., the patriarch's party) and the Malankara (Indian) Orthodox Syrian Church (Methran Kakshi, i.e., the bishop's party). Historically, the patriarch's party supported the attempts of the Syrian (Jacobite) Patriarch of Antioch to assert greater control over the Jacobite community, while the bishop's party pressed the case for autocephaly. Repeated attempts to effect a union between these two churches have been inconclusive.
4. The Syro-Malankara Catholic Church (Reeth Sabha). The Syro-Malankara Catholic Church was formed in 1930 when a faction of the Jacobite community led by Mar Ivanios and Theophilus entered into communion with the See of Rome. They continue to practice all the liturgical usages and ecclesial traditions of the West Syrian (Antiochene) Church. For specific aspects of its history, present situation and liturgy, see syro malankara church and syro-malankara liturgy.
5. The Assyrian Church of India (Surais). This is another group of St. Thomas Christians that has had an independent existence from the days of Mar Mellus, who managed to gather a small group of St. Thomas Christians in Trichur (Thrissur). In 1952, they received a bishop from the Assyrian Church of the East (Persian), thereby restoring ancient ties to the Persian Patriarch. Since 1968, all their bishops have been ethnic Indians.
6. Malabar Independent Syrian Church of Thozhiyur. A very small group of independent St. Thomas Christians found mainly in Thozhiyur (Thozhiyoor) or Anjur. In 1772, Bishop Mar Kurilose Kattumangatt fled to Thozhiyur with his supporters when his episcopal consecration by a foreign prelate was not approved by Mar Dionysius I of the Jacobite community. Although it has maintained a sister-church relationship with the Mar Thoma Syrian Church of Malabar (see below) since 1948, it has not accepted the reformed (evangelical) theology of the Mar Thoma Church. Since 1989, it has cultivated close ecumenical ties with, and extended intercommunion to the Anglican communion.
7. The Mar Thoma Syrian Church of Malabar (Marthomites). In the early 19th century, evangelical Anglican missionaries from the UK-based Church Missionary Society (CMS) came to the aid of the Jacobite community. Over time, the work of these missionaries led to conflicts, with detractors alleging that the Anglican missionaries wanted to implement a radical reform of ancient church traditions and practices. By the Synod of Mavelikkara in 1836, Metropolitan Chepat Mar Dionysius IV severed all the connections of the Jacobite community with the Anglican missionaries. However, a small reformist group led by Mar Abraham Malpan attempted to undertake radical reform within the Jacobite community. Excommunicated by Mar Dionysius, this reformist group reorganized itself as a distinct church that is the via media between the Oriental Orthodox and Reformed traditions. In full communion with the Church of South India since 1958, the Church of North India since 1972, and a full-fledged member of the worldwide Anglican communion, the Mar Thoma Church combines aspects of the St. Thomas Christian traditions and practices with the evangelical theology introduced by the CMS missionaries. The Mar Thoma Church believes that it is the true representative of the ancient Apostolic Church of St. Thomas and that the reform was only a purification of the Church.
8. St. Thomas Evangelical Church of India. This church originated as a splinter group from the Mar Thoma Church in 1961. Due to internal strife, members of this splinter group claimed that the evangelical principles of reform advocated by Mar Abraham Malpan could no longer be safeguarded in the Mar Thoma Church, and hence the need for a new Church.
LATIN CHRISTIANITY IN INDIA
Beginnings. The present Latin Christian (Roman Catholic) community in India had its origin in the work of the Portuguese padroado missionaries. The Franciscans comprised the first wave of missionaries. They arrived circa 1518 and worked in Goa, Bassein, Cochin, Quilon, and parts of Tamil Nadu, converting many Indians. Jesuit, Dominican and Augustinian missionaries followed the Franciscans, coming principally from Portugal, Spain and Italy. The early fruits of their labor resulted in the erection of the first Latin bishopric in Goa in 1534.
Around 1536, civil war broke out between the paravas (fisherfolk) and the Muslims in the Pearl Fishery coast region. The Portuguese came to the rescue of the paravas, resulting in a large number of paravas embracing Latin Christianity. The most successful missionary endeavor remains that of the Jesuit missionary St. Francis xavier, who arrived in Goa in 1542. Regarded as the "Apostle of Latin Christianity in India," Francis Xavier and his companions worked tirelessly in the regions of the Pearl Fishery coast, Coromandel coast, Goa, Bassein, and Bombay. He established seminaries in Quilon and Cochin and opened Jesuit houses in Cochin, Bassein, and Mylapore; schools were then opened in and around the main Portuguese settlements.
From the many Portuguese enclaves that dotted the coastal areas, the padroado missionaries gradually worked their way into the hinterland: Madurai (Robert De Nobili 1606), Trichinapoly, Dindigal, Tanjore, Hooghly, and parts of Bengal, Masulipatanam, Vizhakapatanam, and Golconda. At the invitation of the Moghul emperor Akbar, a few groups of Jesuits from Goa visited his court and were instrumental in establishing small Christian communities in Agra, Delhi, Lahore, Patna, Jaipur and Narwar. In 1558 Goa became an Archdiocese with Cochin and Melaka (in present-day Malaysia) as suffragans. Other suffragans were subsequently added: macau in China (1576), Funei in Japan (1588), Angamaly (1600, which was later moved to Kodungalloor in 1605), and Mylapore (1606). The Provincial Councils of Goa (1567, 1575, 1585, 1592, 1606 and 1894) played a significant role in the mission and life of the Latin Church during this period. The Portuguese crown and the rights given to them and their missionaries in Goa under the padroado system played a vital role in the success of the mission. The latter part of the 16th century witnessed the decline of the Portuguese mission in tandem with the decline of the Portuguese military power. The never-ending wars on land and sea between the Portuguese and the hostile Muslim rulers of India hindered the spread of the Gospel. The situation worsened in the 17th century when the rival Dutch and English colonial powers systematically wiped out the Portuguese presence, forcing the padroado missionaries to return to Portugal.
De Nobili and the Indian Rites Controversy. The 16th-century Portuguese missionary efforts succeeded only among the lower castes of the Hindu society. Following the same approach used in their Latin American mission colonies, the Portuguese missionaries required the newly baptized Indian neophytes to dress, eat, and behave like the Portuguese Christians, including taking Portuguese surnames. High caste Indians objected to these demands, labelling the neophytes "parangis" (detested foreigners) and treating them as outcasts. Realizing the need to attract the Brahmins, who comprised the highcaste Hindus, the Italian Jesuit missionary Robert de no bili established his mission in 1606 in Madurai, a Brahmin stronghold. De Nobili made a distinction between Christian faith and European civic and cultural customs. He himself adopted the customs of the Brahmins, dressed, behaved and lived like a Brahmin monk. De Nobili's approach was successful. He attracted many Brahmins of Madurai and its environs, and many embraced Christianity. But from the very beginning opinions regarding de Nobili's approach were sharply divided among Nobili's fellow Jesuits on one hand and the padroado authorities and Rome on the other. In many ways, de Nobili and his confrere in China, Matteo ricci, were too advanced for their time. The debate continued for several years as opposition to de Nobili and his Jesuit colleagues mounted. Pope Benedict XIV, who had earlier condemned Ricci's Chinese approach in 1742, also condemned de Nobili's practices in 1744. As in China, missionaries to India were required to take an oath denouncing the practices that de Nobili had promoted. Such official disapproval negatively affected missionary outreach to high-caste Indians for a long time and led to the indian rites controversy.
Tensions between Rome and Portugal. With the decline of Portuguese colonial power and its inability to protect its missionaries in the face of Dutch and English invaders, the Holy See began sending missionaries under the aegis of the Congregation for the Propagation of the Faith. Several vicariates apostolic were erected in India under the congregation: Bijapur (1637, which was shifted to Bombay in 1832), Verapoly (1659), Tibet-Hindustan (1808, later known as Agra), Calcutta, Madras, Colombo and Pondicherry (between 1834 and 1836). These vicariates were later divided, resulting in the creation of 14 new vicariates by 1882. These vicariates were normally outside the Portuguese territories, leading to a longstanding conflict and intense rivalry between the clergy of the padroado and the congregation. This conflict reached its climax during the Portuguese Revolution of 1834 with its resulting wave of anti-clericalism and severance of diplomatic relations with the Holy See. Responding to this crisis, in 1838 Pope gregory xvi withdrew Goa's jurisdiction over its suffragan sees of Cochin, Kodungalloor and Mylapore. This resulted in the so-called Goan or Indo-Portuguese Schism during which many padroado clergy disobeyed Rome. In 1886, a new concordat restored Goa's jurisdiction over Cochin and Mylapore. The Latin Catholic hierarchy for India and Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) was also established in 1886 with eight ecclesiastical provinces, with 19 dioceses and 3 vicariates as the suffragan. After India regained its independence in 1947, the Indian government signed a concordat limiting the padroado jurisdiction to the Portuguese territory. Finally, the occupation of Goa by the Indian Government in 1961 terminated practically the last remnant of the padroado system.
Tribal and Dalit Communities. Two great assets of Latin Christianity in India are the dynamic and flourishing tribal and dalit Christian communities. Many of these communities, except the early Tamil Christians, embraced Christianity in the 19th and 20th centuries. They are found mostly in Bihar, Orissa, Andhra and Tamil Nadu. Among them, the Bettiah community of the Bihar is one of the oldest. It originated as the Capuchin mission in Bihar in 1703. In 1745, the Capuchin missionaries came at the invitation of the king of Bettiah and established a Christian community. The Jesuit mission in Bengal penetrated Bihar and Orissa. In 1880s there was a mass movement of conversions in Chotanagpur (Jharkhand) due to the work of Belgian Jesuit missionaries, particularly of Constant Lievens in the district of Ranchi. Christian tribals in the northeast region of India are another strong force. The Portuguese Jesuit missionaries reached Assam in 1626, and the mission in Assam was under the Vicariate of Calcutta from its establishment in 1834. The mission in the northeast flourished due to the work of several missionary groups, namely, the paris foreign mission society (1850), the Foreign Mission Society of Milan (1870), the German salvatorians (1890), the jesuits (1915–1922), and from 1922 onwards, the salesians. The Latin Christian mission among the tribals, the dalits, and the lower classes of India was pivotal in their increasing political awareness and willingness to fight for justice. This has threatened the status quo and the power of the upper-caste Hindus and the landlords, resulting in increasing opposition to Christian mission activities from the latter part of the 20th century.
PROTESTANT CHRISTIANITY IN INDIA
The Arrival of Protestant Missionaries. The first Protestant missionaries to India were two German Lutherans, Bartholomew Ziegenbalg and Henry Pleutschau, who were sent by King Frederick of Denmark in 1706. They landed in the Danish colony of Tranquebar, in the southeastern part of India. From Tranquebar, Protestant missionaries made their way to Madras, Trichy, Cuddalore, Tanjore and Tirunelveli. In 1806, the London Mission Society (LMS) of the Congregational Church sent a German Missionary, W. T. Ringeltaube, to work in the southern part of Travancore or South Kerala. Another pioneer was the English missionary of the Baptist Church, William Carey, who came to Calcutta in 1793 with Joshua Marshman and William Ward, settling in the Dutch colony of Serampore. The Serampore missionaries are well known for their educational, literary and social work. The Church Missionary Society (CMS) of the Anglicans began to send missionaries from 1813 onwards into the different parts of India. Benjamin Bailey, Henry Baker and Joseph Fenn were well-known CMS missionaries who worked in Kerala, especially for the reform of the Jacobite Christians. The Basel Missionary Society, an ecumenical endeavor among Lutherans, the Calvinists, and the Anglicans began to send missionaries to India from 1834 onwards. Hermann Gundert and Samuel Hebrich were two of their outstanding missionaries.
Growth of Protestant Religions . The northeast tribal region of India where the large majority is now Christian is the great success story of the Protestant missions. The British Baptists from Serampore reached northeast India in 1813. The American Baptists began their mission in Assam 1836. The Welsh Presbyterians started in Cherrapunji in 1841. Anglican missionaries of the society for the propagation of the gospel (SPG) came in the 1870s. Lutherans started to work in Tezpur in 1860. American Presbyterians arrived in and around Allahabad in 1832. American Methodists came to Lucknow and Allahabad in 1857. German Lutherans started their mission in Chotanagpur in the 1840s. Beginning in the 20th century, many independent reformed, evangelical and pentecostal churches came to India, including the seventh day adventists, salvation army, and the Disciples of Christ.
Ecumenism, Consolidation and Union. The 20th century also witnessed the great ecumenical movement among the Protestant Churches in India. Realizing the enormity of the scandal of a divided Christianity, the missionaries and leaders of the Indian churches realized that unity was essential for the success of evangelization, and that the Indian people should not be divided by denominations which had originated in Europe's fractured history. Motivated by this ecumenical spirit, four Protestant denominations in southern India—the Anglicans, the Presbyterians, the Congregational Churches and the Methodists—united to form the Church of South India (CSI) in 1947. The Church of South India has an episcopal system of governance as well as a common constitution and liturgy. In northern India, seven Protestant denominations—the Anglicans, the Presbyterians, the Congregational Churches, the Methodists, the Baptists, the Disciples of Christ, and the Brethren—united to form the Church of North India (CNI) in 1970. However, the powerful American Baptist Churches in the northeast and in Andhra, the American Methodist Churches in the north and south, and the Lutheran Churches in India did not join in the union. The Lutheran Churches in India have united under the umbrella of the United Evangelical Lutheran Churches in India.
Contributions. Protestant missionaries in India made tremendous contributions in the areas of education, health care, social transformation and literature. In the past, the Protestant Churches in India were conservative and remained visibly foreign as they were controlled by the overseas mission boards. During the latter part of the 20th century, most of the Protestant Churches in India became fully independent with their own personnel, structures and programs of inculturation.
PRESENT-DAY SITUATION OF CHRISTIANITY IN INDIA
Relations between Latin and Eastern Catholic Churches. The Catholic Church in India is a communion of three particular churches: (1) the Latin Church, (2) the Syro-Malabar Church, and (3) the Syro-Malankara Church. The Catholic Bishops Conference of India (CBCI) was established as the assembly of all the Catholic bishops of India in 1944. In view of the juridical status which vatican council ii gave to bishops conferences (Christus Dominus, 37), the CBCI revised its statutes in 1966 in accordance with the conciliar documents. With the promulgation of the new Codes of Canon Law for the Latins (1983) and the Orientals (1990), sui juris Catholic Churches are legally entitled to separate episcopal bodies and synods. In compliance with Pope John Paul II's 1987 letter to the Indian Catholic bishops, three separate episcopal bodies for the three particular Catholic Churches were created in 1988. However, the CBCI continues to exist and function as an umbrella organization for all three particular churches.
Relations between the three particular Catholic churches are by and large cordial, although two problematic areas remain. The first concerns the pastoral care of the emigrants from the Syro-Malabar and Syro-Malankara churches who are in the Latin territories. The directive of Vatican II that bishops and clergy from their own churches should be responsible for the pastoral care of these emigrants (Christus Dominus, 23) have not been implemented in India. Second, the two Oriental Catholic churches in India are restricted to their ancient historical territory of Kerala and cannot undertake evangelization in Latin territories outside that state. However, the Latin church is not bound to such jurisdictional limitation; Latin missionaries can work freely in Kerala. The Oriental churches resent this jurisdictional limitation and have petitioned to the Holy See for the freedom to undertake evangelization and pastoral care of emigrants outside of Kerala. As an interim solution, Rome entrusted recently created dioceses in central and north India to the Syro-Malabar Church. This does not fully satisfy the demands of the Oriental Catholic churches who are requesting removal of all restrictions on their evangelizing mission in India.
Protestant Christianity. The Protestant churches in India have a common ecumenical forum called the National Council of Churches in India (NCCI), which had its origin in 1914. The NCCI brings together most of the Protestant churches and organizations in India for mutual consultation, assistance and action in all matters related to the life and witness of the churches. Since 1979, its headquarters is located at Nagpur.
Ecumenical Ties. Although the three particular Catholic churches in India are not members of the NCCI, there is some collaboration between the NCCI and CBCI, especially on national and social issues. Together, they have organized common consultations and programs. After the year 2000, new initiatives were undertaken to explore the possibility for the Catholic Churches to join the NCCI or to create an alternative ecumenical structure that would encompass both the NCCI and CBCI. The Commission for Ecumenism of the CBCI contributed to the discussion with its Guidelines for Ecumenism: Towards an Ecumenical Life-Style (2000), which incorporates the doctrinal and theological insights of Vatican II and the Directory on Ecumenism.
Catholic Religious Orders and Congregations. Many European-based religious orders came and established communities in the different parts of India. The Franciscans, the Dominicans, the Jesuits, the Capuchins and the Carmelites were among the early wave, arriving in India during the Portuguese period. There are many indigenous Indian religious congregations, of which the first was the Carmelites of Mary Immaculate (CMI) founded by Kuriakose Elias chavara in 1831. The two largest congregations for women are the Congregation of the Mother of Carmel (CMC), also founded by Chavara, and the Franciscan Clarist Congregation (FCC). Many of these religious congregations are engaged in education, running elementary and high schools, colleges, universities and theological institutes, technical schools and vocational institutes, and adult education and literacy centers for women and other marginalized and underprivileged groups. Other religious orders operate healthcare facilities such as hospitals and clinics, orphanages, hospices, halfway houses and nursing homes, and media and communication.
Indian Christian Theological Trends. In Indian Christian theological thinking three different approaches or trends can be identified. The first is the classical philosophical-theological approach where attempts are made to articulate and interpret Christian faith in the classical Indian cultural, philosophical and religious categories of the Vedas, Upanishads, Puranas and their underlying philosophical systems. The second trend focuses on the socio-political realities and problems and responds to them in the light of the Gospel. The third trend is a spiritual-contemplative approach, which emphasizes the Indian spirituality and interiority. Indian theologians have tread new paths in the areas of christology, missiology, interreligious dialogue, and theology of religions. This has borne fruit in the articulation of christologies in the Vedanta and Advaita traditions, missiologies that are centered on the Kingdom of God, and theologies of religions which focus on the Harmony and Mystery of God. While many Indian theologians are gaining wide recognition for their insightful analyses and theological explorations, a few have become targets of criticism and even censure for the radical nature of their theologizing.
The Indian Christian Ashram movement and the emergence of numerous Dialogue Centers in the different parts of the country in the 20th century may be associated with the third trend, although not exclusively. The word "ashram" comes from the Sanskrit root "a + srama" which means total dedication, total pursuit, or ardent striving. The ashram is a place of work and pursuit, physical, mental and spiritual. It is a community of spiritual seekers who are gathered around an enlightened person known as a guru. Some of the pioneers of the Christian Ashram movement were S. Jesudasan (Thiruppattur), Murray Rogers (Bareilly), Monchanin and Bede Griffiths (Kulithalai), Francis Acharya (Kurisumala), Sr. Vandana (Rishikesh), and Amalorpavadass (Mysore).
Inculturation. Vatican II's call to all Christian communities to inculturate the faith in their actual sociocultural milieu (Lumen Gentium 10, Ad Gentes 22), and to enter into dialogue with people of all faiths (Nostra Aetate ) encouraged the Indian Catholic bishops to explore new avenues of inculturation and dialogue. In 1969, Rome gave permission for Indian Catholics to adopt certain Indian cultural elements and ritual gestures in the celebration of the Eucharist in the "12-Point Statement." The Catholic bishops established the National Biblical, Catechetical, and Liturgical Center (NBCLC) in Bangalore to supervise and coordinate efforts at inculturation. Various attempts were made for the inculturation of liturgy and prayers at the National Center and at other theological centers like Dharmaram College, Bangalore, and at various Indian Christian Ashrams. An Indian Order of Mass and an Indian Anaphora were prepared by the NBCLC. The CBCI approved the Order of the Mass. The Indian Anaphora underwent several rounds of experimentation and revision before the Latin Bishops Conference (CCBI-Latin Rite) approved it in 1992 and forwarded it to the Holy See for approval.
Christian-Hindu Dialogue. Early Christian missionaries never had a genuine encounter with Hinduism and other Indian religions. What they did at the most was to translate the Christian faith into the various Indian languages. The emergence of a national consciousness and the cultural awakening as a result of the 19th-century Indian Renaissance movement led several missionaries and Indian Christian thinkers to engage in a serious dialogue with the Indian religions, cultures and philosophies, and to explore new paths of Indian theology. In 1875, K. M. Banerjee argued that Christianity, far from being a foreign religion, was the fulfillment of Hinduism (Arian Witness 8). For Brahmabandhav Upadhyaya (1861–1907), one could be Hindu and Christian at the same time, Hindu by cultural and religious traditions and Christian by faith in Christ. Sadhu Sunder Singh (1889–1929) was a great Christian mystic who eschewed all Christian denominations, proposing a Church of the sadhu ideal. Other pioneers of indigenous Christianity and Indian theology were K. C. Sen (1838–1884), who proposed the Navavidhan, the Church of New Dispensation; Nehemiah Goreh (1825–1895), who saw Hinduism as preparatio evangelica ; A. J. Appasamy (1891–1976), who propounded the idea of Bhakti Marga and Yogic vision; P. Chenchaiah (1886–1959), who is known for his theology of New Creation; V. Chakkarai (1880–1958) who articulated an Indian Christology of the Spirit; and P. D. Devanandan (1901–1962) and M. M. Thomas (1916–1995) who both advocated a renewed Christian humanism in India and a servant church task with transforming the Indian society.
While most the pioneers of the 19th century were Protestants, some of the outstanding 20th-century theologians and thinkers were Catholics. Among them, Bede griffiths (1906–1993) held the idea of Christian Advaita; D.S. Amalorpavadass (1932–1990) emphasized a new evangelization and inculturation; Sebastian Kappen (1924–1993), articulated an Indian theology of liberation; Raimundo Panikkar (1918–) contributed to a cosmotheandric vision of reality, cross-cultural theologizing and to a theology of religions and dialogue; and Felix Wilfred and Michael Amaladoss (1936–), both of whom have articulated new theological paths for mission and liberation in India, inculturation, religious pluralism and interreligious dialogue.
THE IMPACT OF CHRISTIANITY ON INDIAN SOCIETY AND CULTURE
Some of the best dictionaries and grammars in many Indian languages were written by missionaries who were great scholars as well. Many Indian tribal languages were oral languages devoid of alphabets and script. It was the missionaries who mastered these languages and provided them script and grammar. The Serampore missionaries were well known for their study of tribal and popular cultures and languages, which became instrumental for their modernization and dynamic growth. Some of the best studies on Indian history, religions, philosophy, culture, art, architecture and music were written by the foreign missionaries.
It was the western education introduced by the Christian missionaries and later by the British administration that laid the foundation for the modern Indian society and culture. Alexander Duff, a Presbyterian pastor, was the first person to introduce the British system of higher education in India in 1835. Education was the basis for all the other changes. Modern scientific education gradually eliminated the superstitious and mythical worldviews and paved the way for rapid scientific, technological and material progress. It also resulted in new interpretations of the religious traditions, scriptures and myths. Through schools and colleges, Christian missionaries contributed substantially to the awakening of the Indian masses who were mostly uneducated, poor, exploited, and oppressed by the caste system. Opposition to the Christian mission in India in the latter part of the 20th and early 21st centuries came about not just because of religious differences, but also because the Christian missionaries' promotion of education threatened the economic, social and political power of the upper castes and the established dominant groups.
It was in constant encounter with Christianity that the Hindu Renaissance movement led by Ram Mohan Roy, Swami Vivekananda, Rabindranath Tagore, Mahatma Gandhi, and Radhakrishnan sought to integrate into Hinduism and Indian culture the values of human person, sound moral and ethical principles, community solidarity irrespective of caste and sex, a sense of history as a project for human action and creativity, and social transformation of Indian society to embrace the ideals of freedom, justice and equality. These Hindu reformers rejected the traditional understanding of human history in terms of inevitable fate or as the consequence of the past karma and condemned social evils like child marriage, sati (the custom of forcing widows to immolate themselves on the funeral pyre of their husbands) and the caste system as inhuman.
SAINTS AND SAGES
India is known as a land of Sages, Saints and Gurus. Sanyasa or religious life both in communities and as solitary monks is part of India's ancient tradition. Christian priestly and religious life is very much esteemed in India, and the Indian Church is blessed with an abundance of priestly and religious vocations. The saints and sages of the Indian churches are numerous, beginning with the Apostle St. Thomas and St. Francis Xavier. St. Gonsalo Garcia (1557–1597), born in Vasai, became a Franciscan and a missionary to Japan, where he was martyred in 1597. He was declared a saint in 1862 by Pius IX. St. John de Britto (1647–1693), born in Lisbon, became a Jesuit and went to India in 1673. He was martyred near Madurai, and was canonized by Pius XII in 1947. Kuriakose Elias Chavara, the founder of the Congregation of Mary Immaculate (CMI) for men and the Congregation of the Mother of Carmel (CMC) for women, was a Kerala native who became a great leader and reformer of the Syro-Malabar Church, a preacher, poet and educator. He was declared blessed in 1986 by John Paul II. Sister Alphonsa (1910–1946), born in Kerala, became a Franciscan Clarist nun but died young after a prolonged period of suffering and illness. She was beatified along with Kuriakose Elias Chavara by Pope John Paul II in 1986 during his visit to Kerala. Joseph Vaz (1651–1711), born in Goa, became a priest and went to Sri Lanka as a missionary and died there. He was beatified in 1997. Rudolf acquaviva (1550–1583), born in Italy, became a Jesuit priest, came to India in 1578, was invited as a scholar to the Mugal Emperor Akbar's court, was martyred in Goa along with four others, and was beatified in 1893.
Among those who were declared venerable are one bishop, two sisters and two priests: Bishop Hartmann Anastasius (1803–1866), Sr. Mary of the Passion (1839–1904), Sr. Mariam Thresia (1876–1926), Fr. Aurelian OCD (1887–1963), and Fr. Agnel D'Souza (1869–1927). There are many other clergy and religious whose sanctity have been publicly acclaimed, even if they have not been officially canonized or beatified: Bishop Melchior de Marion Bresillac (1813–1859), Sr. Mary Veronica (1823–1906), Fr. Mathew Kadalikkattil (1872–1935), Bishop Thomas Kurialacherry (1873–1925), Sr. Euphrasia CMC (1877–1952), Fr. Zacharias OCD (1887–1957), Fr. Augustine Thevarparampil (1891–1973), Bishop Stephen Fernando SDB (1895–1978), Fr. Francis Convertini SDB (1898–1976), Bishop Mathew Kavukatt (1904–1969), and the world-renowned mother teresa (1910–1997), the apostle of the poor and the unwanted. Three laymen were noted for their holiness: Devasagayam Pillai (1712–1752), Thommachan Puthenparampil (1836–1908) and Joseph Thamby (1882–1945).
It is not possible to list here all the names of the saints and sages from the other churches in India. Five holy metropolitans from the Syrian Orthodox churches may be mentioned: St. Baselius Yeldho (1593–1685), St. Ignatius Elias III (1867–1932), St. Mar Gregorios of Parumala (1848–1902), Sleeba Mar Osthathiose (1854–1930), and Mar Gregoriose Abdul Jaleel (d.1681).
Bibliography: j. aerthayil, The Spiritual Heritage of St. Thomas Christians (Bangalore 2001). d.s. amalorpavadass, ed., The Indian Church in the Struggle for a New Society (Bangalore 1981). r. boyd, An Introduction to Indian Christian Theology (Delhi 1991). l. brown, The Indian Christians of St. Thomas (Cambridge, England 1982). CBCI Commission for Ecumenism. Guidelines for Ecumenism: Towards a New Ecumenical Lifestyle (New Delhi 2000). CBCI Evaluation Committee. CBCI Evaluation Report: The Catholic Bishops Conference of India—Retrospect and Prospectus (New Delhi 1995). j.c. england, The Hidden History of Christianity in Asia (Delhi 1996). History of Christianity in India, 5 v. (Bangalore 1982–97) k. kunnumpuram, et al., eds., The Church in India in Search of a New Identity (Bangalore 1997). s.h. moffett, A History of Christianity in Asia, v1, Beginnings to 1500, 2d rev. ed. (Maryknoll, NY 1998). a. mookenthottam, Indian Theological Tendencies (Frankfurt 1978). a. m. mundadan, Indian Christians: Search for Identity and Struggle for Autonomy (Bangalore 1984); Paths of Indian Theology (Bangalore 1998). j. panthaplamthottiyil, ed., Indian Christian Directory (Kottayam 2000). k. pathil, Indian Churches at the Crossroads (Bangalore 1995). k. pathil, ed., Mission in India Today: The Task of St. Thomas Christians (Bangalore 1988); Religious Pluralism: An Indian Christian Perspective (Delhi 1991). t.v. philip, East of the Euphrates: Early Christianity in Asia (Delhi 1998). p. puthanangady, ed., Towards an Indian Theology of Liberation (Bangalore 1986). j. puthenkalam, and a. mampra, Sanctity in India (Yercaud 2000). s. j. samartha, One Christ, Many Religions: Towards a Revised Christology (Maryknoll, NY 1994). j. thaliath, The Synod of Diamper (Bangalore 1999). m. m. thomas, The Acknowledged Christ of Indian Renaissance (Madras 1976). b. vadakkekara, Origin of India's St. Thomas Christians: A Historiographical Critique (Delhi 1995). g. van leeuwen, Searching for an Indian Ecclesiology (Bangalore 1984). f. wilfred, Beyond Settled Foundations: The Journey of Indian Theology (Madras 1993).
"India, Christianity in." New Catholic Encyclopedia. . Encyclopedia.com. (December 15, 2018). https://www.encyclopedia.com/religion/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/india-christianity
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