Liberty University Chhi 302 History of the Christian Church
Soon it became strong and dominate. It is easy to see that the influence of Contemporary Christianity comes from the roots in Roman Catholicism. Contemporary Christian missionary work from America to Central India began in 1872 when Rev. Clark, along with some fellow Christians that had learned a village language, began to preach the gospel. Today that work shows for 2. 3 percent of the population claiming Christianity as a religion. India, to its credit, in the early 1900’s, took the lead in promoting Christian Unity.
India holds the largest number of poor, and the 4th largest number of millionaires. This makes India the country with the greatest disparity between the rich and the poor. Many Christian Missionaries take this as an open door to help build hospitals and orphan homes. According to the Christian mission company WorldVenture, India has 266 million children that suffer from some form of oppression, be it abuse, trafficking, abandonment, or slavery. Contemporary Christianity sees the need in India and uses that need to reach the people that are rapped, sometimes quite literally, in the religion of their government and bring them to Jesus through that. One of the biggest opposition to Christianity would be that of the religion of Islam. The Muslim movements are strong and sweeping throughout the entirety of the Middle East. Their message is not one of love and mercy, but of dominance and fear. To one caught in the middle, the safer choice would be to side with that of Islam. This presents a problem to Contemporary Christianity as missionaries and local Christians try to reach their neighbors for the cause of Christ. Hinduism is ubiquitous, and is still obviously the predominant faith,” Woodburne says. He also states that, “religious toleration which hitherto has been a pretty theory, posited alike by Hindu philosophy and the Christian government, is becoming more and more an accomplished fact. ” This should give Contemporary Christianity hope in the mission of the conversion of India. As the country evolves, so does the understanding and sympathy of most of the people. India has always been a country proud of her spirituality.
Returning to Woodburne on the topic, he states also that “Hindus are increasingly discontented to allow the study and ritual practice of religion to be confined to the priestly class, for religion is the common property of all. ” The reality of the Indian culture becoming fused with the teachings of Jesus at its source is another major obstacle. It could be argued easily that the reason Hindus are not converting to Contemporary Christianity is because the teachings of Jesus – the foundation of Christianity – has teachings rooted deeply in the Hindu religion.
As the Hindu teaching becomes more permeated by the teaching of Jesus, the need for separation between the two becomes blurred. This country hold’s the world’s largest democracy by far. This presents a problem in the form of Anti-Conversional laws. These laws in place in India’s government not only place limits on Contemporary Christianity, but they encourage the violent attacks on Christians, especially clergy. The most intense form of oppression on Contemporary Christianity in India would be that of the Caste System. “India’s notorious Caste System has been abolished by law, yet such traditions die hard. Being that most Christians in the country of India fall into the “Dalits” classification, this presents a massive problem in reaching upwards. Because Dalits are the lowest of society, they receive the most oppression. By default, Christian Dalits are seen as even lower than Dalits in general. According to Marshall, the 2001 Indian Government Census severely underestimated the Christian population by limiting the religions Dalits were allowed to claim. The Indian Government also limits educational and job opportunities for Christian Dalits. The Oppression in Modern India on Contemporary Christianity is not a new concept, however.
Christianity is a religion that has been persecuted since the death of its foundation – Jesus Christ. Perhaps the most important piece in this puzzle is known to all as Gandhi, or Mahatma, meaning “great soul. ” “Mr. Ghandi professes to find his greatest inspiration from a study of the teachings of Jesus, which teaching he tries to put into effect literally. He does not call himself a Christian, but rebukes the Christians with the charge of failing to observe the teachings of their own Master. ” India is a vast and empty nation when it comes to the subject of Contemporary Christianity.
Yohannan, an Indian missionary to his own people says if his time on the mission field, “the northern Indian state is known as the graveyard of missions. We were driven out of the cities and stoned for preaching the gospel. ” The Christian situation in India is dangerous, and yet still it grows. In conclusion, it can be summed up that while the oppression of Contemporary Christianity has tried to stomp out the flame, it still burns and grows. It is easy to look at the numbers of growing oppression, yet it is most important to look at the numbers of the growth in Contemporary Christianity.
Despite all efforts to decrease it, the number slowly, but steadily rises. As Paul says to the church of Corinth in 1 Corinthians 15:58, “Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain. ” The labor of Contemporary Christianity in India is not in vain. BIBLIOGRAPHY Eaton, Richard Maxwell. Religious Conversion in Modern India. Journal of World History. Vol 8 No 2. 1997. Pp 243-271. University of Hawaii Press Gonzales, Justo. The Story of Christianity. HarperCollins. 2010. Marshall, P. Gilbert, L.
Shea, N. Persecuted: The Global Assault on Christians. Thomas Nelson. 2013. Schermerhorn, W. D. Syncretism in the Early Christian Period and in Present-Day India. The Journal of Religion. Vol 4 No 5. 1924. The University of Chicago Press. Stable URL: http://www. jstor. org/stable/1195557 . Woodburne, Angus Stewart. The Present Religious Situation in India. The Journal of Religion. Vol 3, No 4. 1923. Pp 387-397. The University of Chicago Press Stable URL: http://www. jstor. org/stable/1195078 . WorldVenture. India/Asia. http://www. worldventure. com/India (retrieved May 5,2013) Yohannan, K. P. Revolution in World Missions. Gfa books. 1986.