Failure to Convert Hindus is Christianity's biggest Failure in India
The Christian faith is one that I studied a lot as I had my schooling in a missionary school. We had regular classes of 'Moral Science' which was an euphuism for teaching the gospel. Christianity lays great stress on preaching the gospel and missionaries spread out all over the world to convert the people. The Christian missionaries who were mainly Catholic were eminently successful and they converted the entire South America, Africa and Philippines to the Christian faith. In some places like the Baltic states and Central Europe they converted by the sword and the inquisition.
The Christian missionaries also came to Goa and India. They got a fillip as Goa was ruled by the Portuguese and India came under the rule of the British. In Goa the Portuguese imposed the inquisition and they tried to carry out mass scale conversions , but even after 400 years of Portuguese rule they could only convert 35% of the population. One reason was the strong faith in Hinduism of the people.
In British india they had a much bigger flop show and despite inducements and other enticements they could not make a dent in the faith of the people in Hinduism and even now less than 3% of the population is Christian. Worse the only people who embraced the Christian faith were some lower castes and untouchables. For close to 200 years the missionaries had a free run as the British government despite protests by the Arya Samaj, never acted against the missionaries.
I will however say that most of the missionaries were Catholic and the British were Protestants, they never gave government support to these conversions. However they gave them a free reign and these missionaries were allowed to go to tribal areas in the North East, where Hindu missionaries were not allowed and they succeeded in converting some tribes in Nagaland and Mizoram to the Christian faith. This is the reason that Christianity is basically concentrated in deep south and the North East.
The question arises why did the missionaries fail to convert the Hindus en masse to Christianity? After all they were highly successful at other places. The reason lies in the type of religion that they encountered. In South America and Africa They came across some weird Tribal religions and local people who never had the intellectual capability to understand converted.easily. In India they came across a deep philosophy that was much older to their faith and here they could not convince the Indian masses to convert. India will remain the biggest failure of the Christian missionaries.
Where do we stand now ? Christian missionaries would like to convert Hindus and spread the gospel, but the ground realities are different as India is independent. The chance that they will be able to convert anybody now even with inducements and money is remote as they do not have a protective cover. They will fail again. It is about time the Church dropped the spreading of the gospel all together with any inducement or money.
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