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India: Christian contribution to nation building must be made known to the common people, Delhi Archbishop

Archbishop Anil Couto releases the Book on the Contribution of Christianity in building modern India. (left to right: John Dayal, Joseph Anthony Gathia, author, Archbishop Anil Couto, Auxilliary Bishop Deepak Valerian Tauro

Archbishop Anil Joseph Thomas Couto of Delhi urged the faithful to make Christianity's contribution to India known to the common people, particularly the younger generation.

The Archbishop made this appeal while releasing a book in Hindi "Aadhunik Bharat Nirman main Esaeiyat ka Yogdan" (Contribution of Christianity in building modern India) written by Joseph Anthony Gathia, on December 5 at the Community Centre of Sacred Heart Cathedral, New Delhi.

"This book is a historical analysis of facts and it shows how India got to where it is today as a modern nation and what has been the role of Christianity," said veteran journalist and social activist Dr. John Dayal while introducing the author and the book.

"Christianity has been the incubator of ‘modern India,’ affecting everything from governance to law, education, health care, social reforms, publishing, and the Bengal Renaissance, which gave birth to the National Freedom Movement, said author Joseph A. Gathia while throwing light on his research and book. “This needs to be made known to all to create a better understanding among all Indian citizens who belong to different religions.”

In his extended introduction to the book, the author offers a succinct representation of major arguments and has a commentary on the changing profile of Christianity and the various challenges that it faces in India.

Author Joseph Anthony Gathia with Delhi Archbishop Anil Couto

Gathia is a journalist, human rights activist, and author. He was the editor of two Catholic newsweeklies and a contributor to the Religious News. He has written extensively on India's religious conflict and politics. Most of his books are on a variety of social issues.

Among the dignitaries present were Auxiliary Bishop Deepak Valerian Tauro of Delhi, A C Michael, president of Federation of Catholic Associations of Delhi archdiocese (FACAD) and Christian activist for human rights; Ephram Jacob, secretary general, Vijay George, joint secretary, social worker Shashisharan, youth leader Ms. I Kujur, and Ms. Nancy Barlow, member of the Delhi Minority Commission of the Government of Delhi, among others.

Nearly 300 people attended the FACAD program within which the book release took place.

Christians account for 2.3 per cent of India's population of over 1.3 billion people, 80% of whom are Hindus.

In India, there are approximately 22 million Catholics who belong to the Latin, Syro-Malabar, and Syro-Malankara Churches.

The Indian Church began in 52 AD with the arrival of the Apostle Saint Thomas in Kerala, then known as Malabar coast.

Audience at the Book release

Radio Veritas Asia (RVA), a media platform of the Catholic Church, aims to share Christ. RVA started in 1969 as a continental Catholic radio station to serve Asian countries in their respective local language, thus earning the tag “the Voice of Asian Christianity.”  Responding to the emerging context, RVA embraced media platforms to connect with the global Asian audience via its 21 language websites and various social media platforms.