India — June 2010

Sociopolitical Situation

On 24 May 2010, the Congress Party and its allies (UPA) completed the first year of its second term as the governing party. Recent attempts of the opposition parties to exercise “cut motion” or veto powers in order to undermine the government failed and further strengthened the UPA-led government at the center.

High on the government’s priorities are inflation, recent Maoist terror attacks in various parts of the country, and India’s role in the global war on terrorism. A nationwide census is slated for 2011 and the government is currently debating its terms, namely whether data regarding caste should be collected. A committee composed of cabinet ministers has been established to study the issue and finalize the census forms.

The cost of food and oil continues to rise. Various opposition groups have been organizing street protests against the inflation of food prices. The government, however, seems nervous about its policies regarding the inflation of oil prices. So far, it has done little to contain the rising price of oil, which is at the source of the market-wide inflation. The government has committed to lowering inflation to 5 or 6 percent by the year’s end. In February 2010, overall inflation was at 10 percent and in April it was at 9.59 percent.

Religious Situation

In general, relations between India’s diverse religious communities are harmonious, though in some areas of the country, such as the state of Karnataka, extremists target religious minorities. The recent attack on Christian women and children in Karkala is the 19th such attack in Karnataka. The state and national governments have largely ignored this series of hate crimes, which is a matter of great concern.

Only 2.3 percent of India’s 1.2 billion people are Christian. Though the Christian communities in India are thriving, their numbers are proportionately declining compared to the country’s overall population growth.

Recently, India’s Syro-Malabar and Syro-Malankara Catholic churches added new bishops and eparchies. The Syro-Malabar Catholic Church consecrated six new bishops and erected two new eparchies, namely, the eparchy of Mandya in Karnataka and the eparchy of Ramanathapuram in Tamil Nadu. The Syro-Malankara Catholic Church consecrated four new bishops and erected two new eparchies, namely, the eparchy of Puthur in Karnataka and the eparchy of Pathanamthitta in Kerala. These churches also have appointed bishops to the archiepiscopal curia. In August 2010, the Syro-Malabar Catholic Church will hold an archiepiscopal assembly at Mount St. Thomas in Kerala.

One million faithful belong to India’s Malankara Jacobite Syriac Orthodox Church, which has 15 eparchies and 33 bishops. The church, which is in full communion with the Syriac Orthodox patriarch of Antioch, recently appointed 17 new bishops. Outside Kerala, the church has jurisdictions in Bangalore, Mumbai, Delhi and Chennai. In Chennai, the eparchial see is located in Mylapore, where St. Thomas was martyred in 72 A.D.. It also has an eparchy in Australia, in Kuwait and two in the United States.

India’s Malankara Orthodox Syriac Church, which shares the same history and traditions as the Malankara Jacobites, but is no longer in full communion with the patriarch, has 26 eparchies and 26 bishops. The church plans on consecrating seven more bishops before May 2012. Bishop Gabriel Mar Gregorios in Thiruvananthapuram said an influx of migrant Malayali Christians in Kerala has dramatically increased the local parish communities. The church plans on erecting new jurisdictions to serve better the community’s spiritual needs.

Recent Posts

Get to know us and stay informed about the impact your support makes.

Nous constatons que votre préférence linguistique est le français.
Voudriez-vous être redirigé sur notre site de langue française?

Oui! Je veux y accéder.

Hemos notado que su idioma preferido es español. ¿Le gustaría ver la página de Asociación Católica para el Bienestar del Cercano Oriente en español?

Vee página en español