Church in India
  • Capital:
  • New Delhi
  • Population:
  • 1.2 billion
  • Catholic:
  • 17 million (1.4 %)
  • Diocese:
  • 30 archdioceses, 136 dioceses
  • Major religion:
  • Hinduism 80.5%, Islam 13.4%, Christianity 2.3%
Some Indian Christians claim apostolic traditions of St. Thomas and St. Bartholomew, who they say preached Gospel to their ancestors in two distinct parts of present day India in the second half of the first century.

According to a tradition St. Thomas preached Gospel in the Malabar coast of India in 52 AD, while another tradition claims Saint Bartholomew worked in the Mumbai region on the Konkan coast.
Although exact origins of Indian Christians may be disputed, scholars agree on Christian presence in India since second century. Nestorians and Manicheans also were present in southern India in early centuries. There were also pre-Portuguese missions to India from Rome of John de Montecorvino in 13th century and John de Marignoli in 14th century.

However organized missions began with the arrival of Portuguese after sailor Vasco Da Gama established the sea route to India in 1498. Portuguese occupied Goa in 1510 and made it their base for Christian mission in Asia.

The arrival of British in India (1610), the dominance of East India Company (1757-1857) and colonial rule (1858-1947) were helpful in mission work as well as spread of Protestantism, which began in the 19th century. India now houses Christians of almost all denominations.

  • Capital:
  • New Delhi
  • Population:
  • 1.2 billion
  • Catholic:
  • 17 million (1.4 %)
  • Diocese:
  • 30 archdioceses, 136 dioceses
  • Major religion:
  • Hinduism 80.5%, Islam 13.4%, Christianity 2.3%
With 24 million followers, Christianity is now India's third-largest religion after Hinduism and Islam in a population of 1.2 billion people. Catholics number some 17 million.

Christians are found all across India and in all walks of life with major populations in parts of South India, the Konkan coast and the north-eastern India. An estimated 80 percent Christians, particularly in northern India, are tribal people and dalits (former untouchables from lower castes.)

Indian Christians have contributed significantly to nation building, especially in education and health care, and are well represented in various spheres of national life.

India has Catholics of three rites with most Catholics belonging to the Latin rite introduced by the European missioners. The two oriental rites of Syro-Malabar (with a population 4.5 million in 2011) and Syro-Malankara (of some 500,000 people) follow Syriac liturgical patterns.

As of 2012 November, India has 166 dioceses, of which 129 are Latin, 29 Syro-Malabar and 8 Syro-Malankara.

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Latin-rite
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Chandigarh

Chattisgarh

Delhi

Goa

Gujarat

Jammu-Kashmir

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Syro-Malabar
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Andhra Pradesh

Chattisgarh

Gujarat

Haryana

Madhya Pradesh

Maharashtra

Tamil Nadu

Uttar Pradesh

Uttarakhand

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Syro-Malankara Archdioceses
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Tamil Nadu