Christianity in Tripura
Christianity is one of the lesser religions in Tripura, a state in North East India. According to the Indian Census 2001, the population of Christians in Tripura is 107,000 or 3.2% of the population. 85% are Hindus. Christians are mostly found among the tribal communities of the state such as the Tripuri, Lushai, etc.
The beginning of the Christian faith in Tripura dates back many centuries. Fr. Ignatius Gomes, a Jesuit priest made the first reference to the Christians of Mariamnagar in Agartala when he visited them in 1683. Fr. P. Barbe, the Pastor of Chittagong, visited Tripura in 1843. Holy Cross pioneering missionaries Fr. Louis Augustine Verite and Fr. Beboit Adolphe Mercier visited Agartala in 1856 and administered sacraments to the Christians in Mariamnagar Village. But it was only from 1937 that priests began to take permanent residence at Mariamnagar.
The Tripura Baptist Christian Union was formed under the leadership of Rev. M.J. Eade in December 1938 in Lakshmilunga, a village six miles from Agartala. The Baptist Mission Compound at Arundhutinagar, Agartala was also established in the year 1938 under an official land grant by the then King of Tripura Kingdom Maharaja Bir Bikram Kishore Manikya to the missionaries from New Zealand Baptist Missionary Society (NZBMS).
The first Roman Catholic Parish in Tripura was erected at Mariamnagar in 1939. The first permanent Church (at present the temporary Cathedral) was blessed in 1952. Because of its geographical proximity, the Archdiocese of Dhaka continued to cater to the spiritual needs of the Catholics in Tripura till the erection of the new Ecclesiastical Unit in 1952, namely, the Prefecture of Haflong. In 1969, the Prefecture was upgraded to the position of a Diocese and Most Rev. Denzil D'Souza, DD, was the first Bishop of Silchar. At that time the Diocese comprised the States of Mizoram and Tripura and the District of Cachar in Assam. On 11 January 1996, Pope John Paul II decreed the erection of the Diocese of Agartala. The new Diocese of Agartala, comprising the entire State of Tripura was bifurcated from the erstwhile Diocese of Silchar. Most Rev. Lumen Monteiro, CSC, DD, was appointed the first Bishop of the new Diocese. He was ordained and installed on May 26, 1996.
The major denominations of Christianity present in the state are the Baptist and the Roman Catholic Churches. There are also many churches of the Believers' Church, Presbyterian, Assembly of God,Evangelical and Christian Churches in the state.
|Tripura Baptist Christian Union (TBCU)||850||85,000|
|Kuki Christian Churches,Tripura (KCCT)||30||2,850|
- Agartala Baptist Church, first church in Agartala city.
- Khumulwng Baptist Church, largest Baptist church in the state.
- Mariamnagar Catholic Parish, oldest Christian community in the state
- Origin and Growth of Christianity in Tripura: With Special Reference to the ... - Sukhendu Debbarma - Google Books. Books.google.co.in. Retrieved 2013-12-16.
- "Diocese of Agartala". Agartaladiocese.org. Retrieved 2013-12-16.
- Debbarma, Sukhendu (1996) Origin and Growth of Christianity in Tripura: With Special Reference to the New Zealand Baptist Missionary Society, 1938-1988, Indus Publishing, New Delhi. ISBN 81-7387-038-1
- Borok Baptist Convention, Rangchak Mukumu, 2010