Friday, 4 August 2017

Catholicism in Eastern India

Catholicism was introduced in Eastern India in the late 19th Century in the State of Jharkhand as it is called now by Pioneer Belgian and Dutch Jesuit Missionaries.

The most prominent of them was Father Constant Lievens S.J. -- The Apostle of Chotanagpur.

He arrived in Ranchi -- The Headquarters of the Chotanagpur Plateau in 1885. He did not know at that time what the future held for him in terms of evangelization and as a Missionary Pastor too.

With strong faith in God, he started educating and evangelizing Animist Oraon Tribals in Ranchi and in the surrounding areas too.

From 1885-1892, He Evangelized more than 7,000 Tribals to Catholicism. To be one with them, He mastered a number of local languages like Sadri and Khadri.

They are dialects of "Tribal Hindi" spoken by the Aboriginals of the Chotanagpur Plateau.

Today, in 2017 Ranchi is an Archdiocese with many independent Dioceses under it like Gumla, Simdega, Khunti, and Daltonganj to name a few.

The Oraon Tribals from Ranchi to Daltonganj seem very receptive to the Gospel Message. They see Jesus Christ as their Liberator and Saviour from Physical and Spiritual Bondage.

In a number of districts in West Bengal like Burdwan, Bankura, and Purulia to mention a few-- Santal Aboriginals seem very receptive to the liberating message of Jesus Christ.

There have been many conversions to Catholicism among Santal Tribals for the past 50 years or more.

This is mostly due to Pioneering Missionary Work by Salesian Fathers and Brothers specially from Spain.

1 comment:

  1. Jesus Christ was introduced to India (western and southern) by St. Thomas the Apostle (doubting Thomas) in the first century. It is said that Thomas was martyred in the vicinity of Chennai India and buried nearby.

    Christianity in India goes back to the very beginning.

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