Christianity in Assam

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The church at Tezpur

Christianity is a third largest religion in Assam, a state of India in the north-eastern region. The population of Christians in Assam is 1,165,867 making up 3.74% state population as of 2011 census report and it is also second growing religion in Assam after Islam. The largest concentration of Christians in Assam can be found in Dima Hasao District where Christian population there is 30% approx and Karbi Anglong district where Christian population is 16.5% approx as of 2011 census report.

Two Portuguese Jesuit missionaries, Cabral and Cacella - the first Christian Missionaries to set foot in Assam - reached Hajo and Guwahati on September 26, 1626. They were en route to Tibet from Hooghly. There is no record of significant sharing of the gospel in Assam at this point.

The start of sustained missionary work in Assam seems to come with the arrival of Nathan Brown along with Oliver Cutter in 1836. They previously had been Christian missionaries in Burma. They carried a printing machine with them and first arrived in Sadiya, eastern most part of Assam. They started schools in Assamese and Khaamti languages and authored text books. They also started the translation of the New Testament into Assamese. But in 1839, due to Khamti rebellions, Brown along with Cutter left for Jaipur, India. They kept publishing in Assamese from there. The complete translation of 'New Testament' was first published in 1848 as 'Amaar Traankorta Jisu Christor Natun Niyom'. In 1854, he published 'Christor Biworon and Xhubho Bartaa'. He also translated a few prayers to Assamese. Brown started the translated of Bible he was finally completed in 1903 with other missionaries efforts.[citation needed]

Oliver Thomas Cutter was born in United States in 1811. He started his journey towards east in 1831 along with his wife Harriet Cutter. He first landed in Burma (Myanmar) and from there he crossed Patkai to reach Assam in 1836 along with Nathan Brown's family. He together with Browns started a prinitng press in Sadiya. They started to print books in Assamese, Khamti and Singfou language from there. They also started school and authored some text books for the schools. But due to Singfou[clarification needed] rebellions, they were forced to leave Assam and go back to Jaipur. But they kept on publishing books from Jaipur. After few years, Cutter's family came back to Assam and this time settled down in Sibsagar. Miles Bronson came to Assam with friend Jacob Thomas in 1836. He first started his works in Sadiya, Jaipur and Naamsang. He started interacting with Naga tribes and first compiled 'East Naga' Thesaurus. According to historian Mccangie, no European after or before Bronson could get so close to Nagas. But he soon felt ill working with Nagas, so he finally came down to Nagaon via Sibsagar. In Assam, Bronson started working in both Christianism and local education. During the period from 1848 to 1851 and 1867 to 1871, he took vacation from his works and went back to New York. Miles Bronson was the main leader of the movement against government enforcing Bengali language as the official language in courts, school in Assam. In 1867, using Jaduram baruah's scripting, he published the first Assamese and English dictionary. The dictionary contained around 14 thousands words and published from Baptist Missionary Press, Sibsagar. This dictionary was another strong step in support of Assamese language. Bronson also started the translation of Bible to Assamese. Nidhiram, the first Assamese convert, was baptised by Bronson on June 13, 1841.[citation needed]

Khasi and Garo are notable ethnic groups with a large Christian population. The Evangelical Lutheran Church in the Himalayan States has an Assam diocese since 2003, which used to be the Assam Church.[1] Among the large Bengali population of Assam, there are few Christians. [2]

Population by district[edit]

Christian population in Assam (2011)[3]
# District Total population Christian population %
1 Karbi Anglong 956313 157789 16.50%
2 Sonitpur 1924110 138166 7.18%
3 Udalguri 831668 110215 13.25%
4 Kokrajhar 887142 101091 11.40%
5 Goalpara 1008183 77862 7.72%
6 Tinsukia 1327929 76877 5.79%
7 Dima Hasao 214102 63310 29.57%
8 Dibrugarh 1326335 52968 3.99%
9 Golaghat 1066888 50582 4.74%
10 Chirang 482162 49747 10.32%
11 Lakhimpur 1042137 46217 4.43%
12 Cachar 1736617 37635 2.17%
13 Kamrup 1517542 33297 2.19%
14 Sivasagar 1151050 33147 2.88%
15 Baksa 950075 27076 2.85%
16 Nagaon 2823768 26844 0.95%
17 Jorhat 1092256 21051 1.93%
18 Kamrup Metropolitan 1253938 18810 1.50%
19 Karimganj 1228686 11990 0.98%
20 Dhemaji 686133 8711 1.27%
21 Hailakandi 659296 8480 1.29%
22 Bongaigaon 738804 5924 0.80%
23 Dhubri 1949258 4107 0.21%
24 Darrang 928500 1688 0.18%
25 Barpeta 1693622 1020 0.06%
26 Morigaon 957423 834 0.09%
27 Nalbari 771639 429 0.06%
Assam (Total) 31205576 1165867 3.74%

List of denominations[edit]

Sources[4] [5][6][7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ [1] Archived March 10, 2012, at the Wayback Machine.
  2. ^ "Regional Updates - Gospel for Asia". Retrieved 2013-12-15.
  3. ^ Population by religious community: Assam. 2011 Census of India.
  4. ^ World Christian Encyclopedia , Second edition, 2001 Volume 1, p. 368-371
  5. ^ "EACI". Retrieved 2013-12-15.
  6. ^ [2] Archived February 21, 2010, at the Wayback Machine.
  7. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-01-04. Retrieved 2014-01-04.