The role of the Christian Community in India (from the archives)

newspaperOf late I have been delving into the archives of The Guardian, a newspaper run by Christians in the early part of the 20th Century. The newspaper was a weekly that would talk about issues related to Christians in India, especially political and social issues. Some of the articles are really excellent, both as examples of early history of Christianity in India, but also as examples of how Christians in India can also think. Time to time, I hope to put up either excerpts or the full articles. I hope you will enjoy it as much as I have.

The following excerpt is from an article written by J. R. Chandran. It talks about what the role of Christians in India should be, especially in relation to Communalism. It was written in 1956, so while some of it is quite applicable even today, some of it is quite dated, like the mention of Government service (which in that day was a very valuable thing, unlike today). I particularly liked his appeal to resist desiring sops from the government, just because you are of a particular (Christian) religion.

Christians in New India

We [Indian Christians] should avoid the error of communalism. When our national leaders are fighting against communalism, we should not add to their problems by making special claims for our own community. It is natural that we should think of the economic stability of our community and be concerned about the educational facilities of our children and the employment of our young people. It may be that if there are communal minded people in responsible positions, we may not always get justice. We should not concern ourselves too much about what happens to our children and our young people. We are to be concerned about the whole pattern of justice. We should not expect any exclusive privileges for ourselves, nor should we seek to get all our children absorbed in Government services. We should become more industrious and seek means of employment in private business and industry so that our dependence of Government services will be considerably reduced.

Source: J. R. Chandran, “Christians in New India,” The Guardian, August 9, 1956, 317.

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Passage for this Season

Philippians 2:11-13 (NIV) (12)Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, (13)for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.

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