ORIGIN OF CHRISTIANITY
tradition, Christianity is said to have arrived in India
with Saint Thomas, one of the apostles of Jesus Christ,
who spent some years in South India and possibly died
there. However, others believe that the first missionary
to arrive in the country was Saint Bartholomew. Historically,
Christian missionary activity started with the advent
of Saint Francis Xavier in 1544. He was followed by
Portuguese missionaries at first and eventually by missionaries
from other countries like Denmark, Holland, Germany
and Great Britain. Throughout the 18th and 19th centuries
Catholic as well as Protestant missionaries preached
Christian doctrines in India and also made important
contributions to social improvement and education in
Much of the modern influences in the Indian society
can be attributed to the role of Christianity in India.
Christian missionaries helped in setting up schools
and colleges all over India and also spread the message
of faith and goodwill in the country. Christianity and
its teachings influenced a number of intellectuals and
thinkers in India, including Mahatma Gandhi.
Today, the Christians in India number about 30 million
and consist of people from every denomination of Christianity.