Christianity in Jharkhand

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Christians are an ethno-religious community residing in the Indian state of Jharkhand. As per 2011 Census of India, 4.3% of people in Jharkhand are Christians.[1] Christians are majority in Simdega district of Jharkhand.[2]


Christianity is a minority religion in Jharkhand, a state of India. Most people in Jharkhand are follower of Sarnaism & Hindus. Jharkhand is known for tribals such as Munda, Santhal, Oraon, Kharia people, & Gond. A Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Ranchi exists. St. Mary's Cathedral in Ranchi has been a cathedral since 1909.[3] The Church of North India has a Diocese of Chota Nagpur with a seat at Ranchi. The Church of North India has a St. Paul's Cathedral in Ranchi.[4] Gossner Theological College is in Jharkhand. Many Munda & Kharia are Christians.[5] The then pope visited Ranchi in 1986.[6] The Gossner Evangelical Lutheran Church in Chotanagpur and Assam has its seat in Ranchi.[7] Dhanbad has Oriental Orthodox Churches.[8] Christian missionaries arrived in today's Jharkhand in 1845.[citation needed]

Pre-migration era[edit]

By the year 1765 Britishers were successful in their military mobilization to bring Santhal Pargana under British rule. After this conquest the British colonial planters in India as indentured tribal people of the Chota Nagpur Plateau region into Northeast India about 150 years ago for the purpose of being employed in the tea gardens industry as workers and came to be known as Tea tribes. These tribals were influenced by the Christian missionaries who came along with the British. These Christian missionaries worked for the improvement standard of living and providing education to the children of the tribals by offering money & materials to poor hindu people. Nearly 15 decades later missionaries from Germany left started their voyage to India in 1844 and reached Kolkata (formerly Calcutta) in 1845. These missionaries were initially heading for Mergui in Myanmar (formerly Burma) in view of preaching the Christian faith among the Karen people or in the areas located in the footsteps of the Himalayas. However, on meeting some people from Ranchi, they changed their plan and headed for Chhotanagpur and its main town, Ranchi. They reached Ranchi on 2 November 1845 and camped on, what is now known as, the 'Bethesda Ground' in Ranchi.

Post-migration era[edit]

After India got independent the missionaries who remained in post Independence worked for the improvement standard of living and providing education to the children of the tribals. Evidently many of the tribals emerged as sportsman especially in the game of hockey and football. [9] Even the present Prime Minister of India Jawaharlal Nehru in his Discovery of India acknowledges the contribution of the early missionaries for development of tribals dialect stating that

"even laboured at the dialects of the primitive hill and forest tribes. . . . [10]


Jharkhandi tribal Christian culture retains that of tribal culture in areas such as dress and cuisine. Many Jharkhandi tribal Christians maintain the tribal customs of decoration of brides and grooms with turmeric.[citation needed]

Churches and ministry[edit]



  1. ^ [ Jharkhand Population Sex Ratio in Jharkhand Literacy rate data
  2. ^ Simdega District Population Census 2011, Jharkhand literacy sex ratio and density
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  6. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2010-12-17. Retrieved 2011-04-03.
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  11. ^ World Christian Encyclopedia , Second edition, 2001 Volume 1, p. 369
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