Christian Contribution to Indian Nation Building Yvon Ambroise Introducing the Study



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Christian Contribution to Indian Nation Building
Yvon Ambroise
1. Introducing the Study

The arrival of St.Thomas to India around AD 50s marks the entry of Christianity nearly 1950 years back. He landed in the Malabar coast and went about doing his work till the Eastern coast and was buried in Chennai, the East coast. Francis Xavier who came to India in the 15th century, also started a new leaf in the historical contribution to Indian life. This paper tries to show some landmark contributions of the Catholic Church made to the mainstream life of India from a Socio-pastoral and sociological perspective.


Today India is a nation with over one billion people with different colours, creeds, races ethnic groups, languages and cultures. This mosaic, called India, makes today important contributions in several fields though several see only the face of the advanced number of personnel working in information technology.
Situating India in the World scenario of religions we observe the following: India has given birth to four major religions of the World: Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism. Hindus form the majority, (82%) in India. Buddhism, that originated in India and flourished till the 6th century A.D., was practically made to quit India and it spread to several countries in Asia, making itself a majority religion in Asian countries. Today Buddhists form only 0.5% in India. Besides Muslims form 12% in the Indian population. In spite of a long history of Christianity, Christians form today only 2.5% of the total population and the Catholics only 1.5% of the total population of India. In spite of this significantly tiny minority character, the Catholic Church in India made praiseworthy contributions in the life and development of Indians.
The aim of this paper is to explore a few areas wherein Catholic Church made significant contributions. Space and time does not allow one to bring out every detail. The main contours will be pointed out in a sociological and Socio-Pastoral perspective in the field of education, health care, Social development, Hindu religious revival movements, contribution to the secular polity of the country, offering of its personnel to the service of the people, and the field of the empowerment of women.

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