Christianity in Delhi

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Mughal Emperor Akbar the Great (r. 1556-1605) holds a religious assembly in the Ibadat Khana (House of Worship) in Fatehpur Sikri; the two men dressed in black are the Jesuit missionaries Rodolfo Acquaviva and Francisco Henriques. Illustration to the Akbarnama, miniature painting by Nar Singh, ca. 1605.

Christianity is a minority religion in Delhi, the National Capital Territory of India. A diocese of Delhi of the Church of North India exists as well as a Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Delhi and the Central Baptist Church. St. Mary's Orthodox Cathedral Hauz Khas belongs to the Indian (Malankara) Orthodox Church.



Christianity in Delhi dates back to the Mughal emperor Akbar's era. Emperor Akbar was known for his secular theology. A Jesuit priest was invited by Akbar from Goa in 1579 as to receive knowledge about Christianity. Sir Thomas Roe, King James I's ambassador to India during Jahangir's reign tells the story of two princes' conversion to Christianity including his nephew only to enable Jahangir's demand to Portuguese women for himself, which was unsuccessful. During the reign of Emperor Aurangzeb there was a decline in Christianity.[1][2] In 1723 Father Desideri founded the city church dedicated to the Virgin Mary. The church was destroyed by Nadir Shah who invaded Delhi in 1739. Jesuit priests managed to save their lives by hiding in a tumbledown house.


Christianity was introduced to Delhi for the second time by the British. British soldiers made numerous churches for their own worship. The Church of England sent many missionaries to India to propagate gospel among people who were unaware of Christianity. Numerous people were converted to Christianity by their will. Many people among the converts were working for the British government. During the Indian Rebellion of 1857 several sepoys who had stayed loyal to the Company were removed by the mutineers and killed, either because of their loyalty or because they had become Christian. After these events Christianity declined in Delhi once more.[3]

List of Churches in Delhi[edit]


  1. ^ Stephen Neill (29 January 2004). A History of Christianity in India: The Beginnings to AD 1707. Cambridge University Press. pp. 189–. ISBN 978-0-521-54885-4. Retrieved 20 May 2013. 
  2. ^ The Mughals of India - Page 20
  3. ^ Selva J. Raj; Corinne G. Dempsey (2002). Popular Christianity in India: Writing Between the Lines. SUNY Press. pp. 212–213. ISBN 978-0-7914-8781-5. Retrieved 20 May 2013. 
  4. ^ "The Cathedral Church of the Redemption". Retrieved 9 March 2017. 
  5. ^ "History of St. Mary's Catholic Church". Retrieved 1 March 2014. 
  6. ^ "Centenary Methodist Church (Hindi)". Retrieved 9 March 2017. 
  7. ^ "Crossway Church". Retrieved 2016-01-02.