Christianity in West Bengal


Christianity in West Bengal
The Bandel Church, rebuilt in 1660 on the site of an older 1599 church.
St. Andrew's Church, Darjeeling. Built- 1843, Rebuilt- 1873

Christianity in West Bengal, India is a minority. At the 2001 census, there were 515,150 Christians in West Bengal, or 0.6% of the population.[1] Among the Scheduled Tribes, the percentage was 6.1%.[2] Although Mother Teresa worked in Kolkata (Calcutta), Christianity is a minority in Kolkata as well.

History

It has been present since the 16th century. The Portuguese established a settlement in Bandel, Hooghly district in the 16th century, and Bandel Church, perhaps the first church in West Bengal, was built in 1599.[3] Burnt down during the sacking of Hooghly in 1632, the church was rebuilt in 1660.

William Carey, who founded the Baptist Missionary Society, went to India in 1793 and worked as a missionary in the Danish colony of Serampore, because of opposition from the British East India Company. He translated the Bible into Bengali (completed 1809) and Sanskrit (completed 1818). His first Bengali convert was Krishna Pal, who renounced his caste after conversion. In 1818, Serampore College was founded to train local converts for the ministry.

Denominations

St. Paul's Cathedral, Kolkata is the seat of the Diocese of Calcutta (1813) of the Church of North India. The Roman Catholic ecclesiastical province which has its seat in West Bengal is the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Calcutta (1834).

Other denominations:[4]

References

  1. ^ http://ncm.nic.in/minority_population.pdf
  2. ^ http://censusindia.gov.in/Tables_Published/SCST/dh_st_westbengal.pdf
  3. ^ Roma Bradnock, Footprint India, Footprint Travel Guides, 2004, ISBN 1904777007, p. 584.
  4. ^ World Christian Encyclopedia , Second edition, 2001 Volume 1, p. 368-371

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