U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > World Forums > Asia
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 03-21-2013, 06:27 AM
 
Location: The western periphery of Terra Australis
24,683 posts, read 45,361,353 times
Reputation: 11862

Advertisements

2.0% or about 24 million of India's population is Christian, and of those 17 million are Catholic.

Christianity in India - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Although Christianity has a long history in India, reputedly going as far back as AD 52 when St. Thomas (one of the disciples) started a mission in South India, one would think that the British, who had the most pervasive influence within India, and proselytized most aggressively, would have been more successful in introducing and establishing Protestant Christianity in India. Of course the Portuguese were fairly influential in coastal parts of India, especially in the South, but in terms of cultural influence, it seems Protestantism or Christianity in general never left much of a dent within the sub-continent. I know that Hinduism is inseparably tied up with Indian identity, which is probably why neither Buddhism or Islam never succeeded in becoming the state religion or the religion of most of the common people of India, and that by the time the missionaries were going out spreading the Word there was widespread resistance to it. It's still interesting to think that Roman Catholicism took more of a hold in India (and Sri Lanka, who were more exposed to the Portuguese still) than Protestantism including Anglicanism. I do wonder if there was something about the various traditional practices of the Catholic faith that appealed more to the Hindu mind than the more sober Protestant denominations.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 03-21-2013, 06:41 AM
 
12,275 posts, read 18,397,848 times
Reputation: 19098
The real question is why did Buddhism never catch on in India, where it was essentially founded? Why didn't Islam never catch on when half the country was dominated by Muslim kings for centuries? The answers are complex, but christianity is the last religion I would expect to dominate India.
But Hinduism has been around since 500 BC, the roots of it even older. And the religion has been able to adapt all these other religions into an umbrella of sorts. India loves it's diverse Gods. Buddhism would have made sense to take over, as it was a reaction of sorts to the caste system. But, again, the culture of India could not give up it's belief in their Gods.
I think you answered it yourself - Hinduism is tied into the national identity. With the population and massive size of the sub-continent, western missionaries simply could not make a dent in the belief system.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 03-21-2013, 08:45 AM
 
Location: Jersey
2,296 posts, read 3,396,020 times
Reputation: 2031
British missionaries were easily ignored. Catholics, the Portuguese in particular, would use more underhanded/strongarmed tactics to convert not only Hindus but also Indian Christians to Catholicism. Protestant Christianity is actually the majority religion in many northeast Indian states, but the area is sparsely populated so it doesn't really make a dent on the total national figures.

Dd714, Buddhism actually became dominate religion in India for quite a while. I'm not exactly sure what caused the reversal.

Last edited by TylerJAX; 03-21-2013 at 08:54 AM..
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 03-21-2013, 08:52 AM
 
Location: The western periphery of Terra Australis
24,683 posts, read 45,361,353 times
Reputation: 11862
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dd714 View Post
The real question is why did Buddhism never catch on in India, where it was essentially founded? Why didn't Islam never catch on when half the country was dominated by Muslim kings for centuries? The answers are complex, but christianity is the last religion I would expect to dominate India.
But Hinduism has been around since 500 BC, the roots of it even older. And the religion has been able to adapt all these other religions into an umbrella of sorts. India loves it's diverse Gods. Buddhism would have made sense to take over, as it was a reaction of sorts to the caste system. But, again, the culture of India could not give up it's belief in their Gods.
I think you answered it yourself - Hinduism is tied into the national identity. With the population and massive size of the sub-continent, western missionaries simply could not make a dent in the belief system.
I think the powers that be saw it a threat to the caste-system and it struck at the heart of Indian identity. I suppose the same reason why Christianity was largely rejected in it's birthplace. The Muslim rulers largely put the final nail in the coffin, stamping out both Hinduism and Buddhism alike.

It's easy now to forget the Hindu-Muslim hostilities in the 19th and first half of the 20th century. Indeed it was probably one of the main things that delayed independence for India.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 03-22-2013, 01:03 PM
 
1,434 posts, read 2,116,374 times
Reputation: 772
Protestantism did take hold in part of India. If you go to Northeast India, Protestantism (Baptist) dominates almost 100% of the population in 1 or 2 stats. This was spread thru Baptist Missionaries, but these same ppl are responsisble for the funding of terror networks in the Northeast yet you won't find the media talking about this, now will you? The British never got involved in spreading religion, their plan focused on control and they felt it was best to leave religion alone. They sensed if they got involved in the aspect of spreading religion they would eventually loose control of India. Christianity has been in India since ancient times. The Portuguese and Dutch (till they were defeated in Kerala) were were ruthless and used strong armed/underarmed tactics to convert the population including the Christians there to Roman Catholicism. Don;t forget the Goan Inquistion which lasted for 400 yrs! For me, this underscores how the Church did not want to recognize the Original power and identity of the Middle Eastern Chuches. At the end fo the day, its all about control. You don't think God chose a spanish pope of Italian descent by mere accident, do you? Islam first came to the Indian continent without the sword, in Kerala. It was easy to convert some of the lower castes but it never made a huge dent. In fact, it was a very peaceful co existence in Kerala among all. Later on as war raged between Muslims and Hindus in North India and elswhere, the Hindus had weird rules in place that helped increase the Muslim population. One rule in particular did not allow for a Hindu to remain a Hindu if they ate beef or if their bodies were smeared with such blood. So, Muslim armies would ask their prisoners to convert freely and if they refused, then they would force them to eat beef or smear blood on them. As a result, Hindus would be kicked out of Hinduism and had to accept a new faith. Some of Muslim India's greatest generals were in fact Hindus who were converted by such methods.

Buddhism should have taken root in India. If India was buddhist today, I firmly believe India's condition would be muc better. In fact , it did for sometime. Towards the end of the Muaraya dynasty, a Persian/Aryan general killed the King in a coup and created the Sunga Dynasty which made Hinduism the state religion again but changed many older traditions. Caste and Hinduism today is not the same as it was practiced back then. Even the Colonial powers meddled with the caste system and changed it to garner more control and influence.



Ultimately, like many religions, the priestly class did not want to loose their power and played games to ensure their role would never be diluted. Think about it, Hinduism since it has been tweaked, ensures control with the highest castes. Buddhism allowed no caste system, it allowed for anyone to educated, etc.....that being said the Sunga dnasty and Hindus in general incorporated many Buddhist beliefs into Hinduism. Buddha himself was born into a Hindu royal family and is known in Hinduism is regarded as one of the ten avatars of God Vishnu but he himself totally mocked and belittled the caste system.



The British parliament and Churchill lamented when leaving India, democracy being given to the elite is a sad day for democracy because the elite in India do not represnet the ppl of India. I don't like Churchill much, but he made some great points.

When we talk about Muslim/ Hindu hostiity, we overlook the fact colonialism allowed both to work together which may not been possible before only in rare circumstances. YOu have to remember, the British ruled India with only 30,000 British soldiers. The rest were Indians. The British relied on giving the elite certain powers and pleasing the Brahmins. They bascially worked with each group while ensuring their control.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 03-22-2013, 01:06 PM
 
Location: Somewhere flat in Mississippi
9,522 posts, read 9,405,124 times
Reputation: 6675
This is interesting.

Saint Thomas Christians - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 03-22-2013, 01:48 PM
 
1,434 posts, read 2,116,374 times
Reputation: 772
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mouldy Old Schmo View Post


Thanks. This is what my family and I belong to, the subcaste Knanaya. Knanaya sub group have their own dioceses in Syro-Malabar Church and Jacobite Syrian Church[121] Knanaya people have very ardently preserved some elements of their Jewish traditions and the adherence to endogamy has helped them to do so.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 03-22-2013, 01:56 PM
 
Location: Canada
4,698 posts, read 8,486,989 times
Reputation: 4880
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mouldy Old Schmo View Post
I'm familiar with them, their religion is very interesting! I've only recently gotten into the history of the Middle Eastern churches. Fascinatingly, the Roman Empire was not the first empire where Christianity was popularized, indeed it became a widespread minority faith in the Sassanid Empire long before it was legalized in Rome. The Church of the East was hugely influential, and spanned a larger territory then did Roman Catholicism from the 9th to 14th centuries. Interestingly, China was a major centre of Christianity and it thrived for 200 years before the emperor decided to suppress both it and Buddhism. Another interesting bit of history, Ghengis Khan's sons all took Christian wives from Mongol tribes that had been practicing the religion for centuries. Apparently, Christianity had been a major religious force in Mongolia for centuries and was an influential force in the Mongol empire.

Last edited by BIMBAM; 03-22-2013 at 02:04 PM..
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 03-22-2013, 02:52 PM
 
1,434 posts, read 2,116,374 times
Reputation: 772
Also, ppl tend to forget Islamic hordes almost completely destroyed Buddhism in India by slaughering them in Bihar on their way to Bengal.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 03-22-2013, 05:20 PM
 
4,454 posts, read 5,741,639 times
Reputation: 2186
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mistertee View Post
Protestantism did take hold in part of India. If you go to Northeast India, Protestantism (Baptist) dominates almost 100% of the population in 1 or 2 stats. This was spread thru Baptist Missionaries, but these same ppl are responsisble for the funding of terror networks in the Northeast yet you won't find the media talking about this, now will you? The British never got involved in spreading religion, their plan focused on control and they felt it was best to leave religion alone. They sensed if they got involved in the aspect of spreading religion they would eventually loose control of India. Christianity has been in India since ancient times. The Portuguese and Dutch (till they were defeated in Kerala) were were ruthless and used strong armed/underarmed tactics to convert the population including the Christians there to Roman Catholicism. Don;t forget the Goan Inquistion which lasted for 400 yrs! For me, this underscores how the Church did not want to recognize the Original power and identity of the Middle Eastern Chuches. At the end fo the day, its all about control. You don't think God chose a spanish pope of Italian descent by mere accident, do you? Islam first came to the Indian continent without the sword, in Kerala. It was easy to convert some of the lower castes but it never made a huge dent. In fact, it was a very peaceful co existence in Kerala among all. Later on as war raged between Muslims and Hindus in North India and elswhere, the Hindus had weird rules in place that helped increase the Muslim population. One rule in particular did not allow for a Hindu to remain a Hindu if they ate beef or if their bodies were smeared with such blood. So, Muslim armies would ask their prisoners to convert freely and if they refused, then they would force them to eat beef or smear blood on them. As a result, Hindus would be kicked out of Hinduism and had to accept a new faith. Some of Muslim India's greatest generals were in fact Hindus who were converted by such methods.

Buddhism should have taken root in India. If India was buddhist today, I firmly believe India's condition would be muc better. In fact , it did for sometime. Towards the end of the Muaraya dynasty, a Persian/Aryan general killed the King in a coup and created the Sunga Dynasty which made Hinduism the state religion again but changed many older traditions. Caste and Hinduism today is not the same as it was practiced back then. Even the Colonial powers meddled with the caste system and changed it to garner more control and influence.



Ultimately, like many religions, the priestly class did not want to loose their power and played games to ensure their role would never be diluted. Think about it, Hinduism since it has been tweaked, ensures control with the highest castes. Buddhism allowed no caste system, it allowed for anyone to educated, etc.....that being said the Sunga dnasty and Hindus in general incorporated many Buddhist beliefs into Hinduism. Buddha himself was born into a Hindu royal family and is known in Hinduism is regarded as one of the ten avatars of God Vishnu but he himself totally mocked and belittled the caste system.



The British parliament and Churchill lamented when leaving India, democracy being given to the elite is a sad day for democracy because the elite in India do not represnet the ppl of India. I don't like Churchill much, but he made some great points.

When we talk about Muslim/ Hindu hostiity, we overlook the fact colonialism allowed both to work together which may not been possible before only in rare circumstances. YOu have to remember, the British ruled India with only 30,000 British soldiers. The rest were Indians. The British relied on giving the elite certain powers and pleasing the Brahmins. They bascially worked with each group while ensuring their control.
The Dutch were like the British and it government did not aim to stive to convert the people. They were much more interested in making money than converting the people. The Dutch a few centuries ago were the only foriegners allowed to trade with Japan for that reason and the Portugese were kicked out of Japan due to Portugese efforts to convert the Japanese to Roman Catholisim and the Dutch were not ambitious to convert the Japanese. In addition in South East Asia they were a prefered colonial power than the Porutugese for that reason too as when Portuguese ruled parts of South East Asia one of the biggest efforts was missionary efforts.

The new pope is from Argentina and is not Spanish.

You claim that if Buddhism took real hold of India it would be better today. Yet in Neighbouring Myanmar recently 10 people have been killed in Anti Muslim clashes over there and Myanmar is Buddhist majority country today.

10 killed in anti-Muslim riots in Myanmar

MEIKTILA, Myanmar: At least 10 people have been killed in riots in central Myanmar, an MP said on Thursday, prompting international concern at the country’s worst communal unrest since a wave of Buddhist-Muslim clashes last year.http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-New...ots-in-Myanmar

For Christians in India there has been persections as well:

The biggest act of violence against Christians took place in 2008, in a remote eastern region of India, during an event referred to as the "Orissa massacre," in which an estimated 100 Christians were killed and some 5,600 displaced by a mob of Hindu extremists.
http://www.christianpost.com/news/ch...or-2012-66358/

In addition there also been Anti Muslim riots in India that existed in India in recent times fueled by Hindu extemists. If the country a majority of people following a particular faith, there would be some extremists among that faith that feel threatend by other people following a minority faith and some of them would turn to violence due to feeling threatened by them. That has been the case like that for some Asian countries.

Going back on topic the reason why Protestant religion did not take a massive hold of India was the British government was much more concerned about making money than converting the people to the protestant religion. The organisations that arranged efforts for missionary efforts were the Church organisations in the UK during colonial times. If the British government had the simiar missionary zeal as other Colonial powers at that time such as the Portuguese then it is likely a larger proportion of people in India today would be Christian.

Last edited by other99; 03-22-2013 at 05:48 PM..
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > World Forums > Asia
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

2005-2019, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top