An example of the difference Christianity makes in the world

From by Steve Addison: India

Christianity made it to India during or soon after the apostolic age. There is good reason to believe it was the Apostle Thomas who brought it there. There have been followers of Jesus in India for 2,000 years. Today Christians account for less than 3% of the population, but they are directly involved in 20% of primary education; 25% of care for widows and orphans; 30% of work with the handicapped, AIDs patients and lepers.

Grace and Peace

HT: Glenn, who blogs at Be Bold, Be Gentle

4 thoughts on “An example of the difference Christianity makes in the world

  1. geochristian


    You are correct, the wiki article doesn’t support the claim. I placed a comment on the blog asking for clarification.

    I looked for statistics in Operation World: The Definitive Prayer Guide to Every Nation, which is a well-researched source. It didn’t give numbers for education or care of widows and orphans, but the medical statistics given are in line with what was given in the quote in question:

    — “Christianity’s positive contribution to Indian society… is also the result of Catholic work and, more recently, of evangelical awareness of effective holistic ministry. The work of Christians in education and health and in challenging social ills brings goodwill, makes the appeal of Christianity more effective and makes it more difficult to stir up anti-Christian sentiment.” (p. 408)

    –“Catholics… are known for their charitable work — most notably Mother Teresa’s legacy among the poorest of the poor and the more than 5,000 Catholic-run health-care facilities, comprising more than 20% of India’s total.” (p. 411)

    –“Christian Medical Association and Catholic Health Association share oversight of over 700 hospitals. Emmanuel Hospitals Association has responsibility for 23 hospitals and 30 community-health programmes in North India. The high proportion of Christians in healthcare and nursing in particular is a positive testimony.” (p. 417)


  2. Boz

    I’m not saying that the quote is incorrect – It’s probably true. It is possible to have a true claim with in incorrect source.

    incorrect sourcing just looks bad for the author.

    Thanks for looking up that separate source.


  3. geochristian

    Steve Addison, the author of the blog, replied with the source of his quote and some further background:

    Kevin, the statistics came from a book on the murder of Graham Staines called Burnt Alive.

    They have contributions up the back of the book from various Indian writers— Christians, journalists and politicians (not suggesting journalists and politicians can’t be Christians!).

    The stats came from Arun Thomas (p180). I’m not sure of his credentials so I can’t vouch for the accuracy of the figures. Apologies for my lack of attention to detail.

    Your skeptic friend may be right.

    Although I tracked down this quote from Hansraj Bhardwaj, the Hindu governor of southern India’s Karnataka state, where most of the recent atrocities on Christians have been committed. He said:

    “Despite accounting for only 2.3 percent of India’s 1.2 billion people, he noted that Christians run nearly 20 percent of the educational, primary healthcare and social welfare centres in the country.”


    I also noticed this quote in the wikipedia article on Christianity in India:

    “The Christian Church runs thousands of educational institutions and hospitals contributing significantly to the development of the nation.”

    Source: Abraham Vazhayil Thomas (1974). Christians in Secular India. Fairleigh Dickinson University Press. pp. 13,200.

    There is also this article from a Christian magazine in India:

    Thanks for checking.

    The article from (note: not Christianity Today) gives a good list of Christian contributions to Indian society:
    –Democratization of education: Christians introduced education for common people, including women, in local languages.
    –Literature development: Christians not only translated the Bible into local languages, but were the first to develop grammars and dictionaries for a number of languages.
    –Delivering women from oppression: The push to eliminate sati (burning of widows) was initiated by missionary William Carey. Christians developed organizations to take care of widows and started women’s hospitals. Missionary Amy Charmichael protected girls who were forced into a life of ritual temple prostitution and publicized their plight, and other Christian organizations have ministries to prostitutes.
    –Medical missions: “as of 1940, 90% of nurses in India were Christians. “Nursing” was considered as mean job and only Christians were willing to take up this job.” (I’m not sure if this was in all of India or only a certain district). AIDS ministries: “Not branding a victim just as sinner or effect of bad karma, but considering them as human being created in the image of God and object of God’s love and candidate for salvation; Christians have extended their helping hands.

    –Marginalized communities
    –Fighting exploitation
    –Agricultural institutes
    –Technical institutes
    –Rehabilitation centres for criminals
    –Homes for the aged

    It is not that the church in India, or in any other nation of the world, is perfect. Far from it. But the world would be a much worse place if it weren’t for Christianity.


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