Religion in Arunachal Pradesh

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Owing to its ethnic and cultural diversity, Arunachal Pradesh has long been a spot for the syncretism of different traditional religions. Most followers of the native Donyi-Polo religion live in Arunachal Pradesh, and the province is also home to substantial Buddhist, Hindu, Christian, and other religion populations. Christianity, introduced by missionaries over the past century, has been seeing much change in its numbers since the 2001 Indian census, slowly transforming into the major religion in Arunachal Pradesh. Counting of population for the 2011 census had been completed. If all goes well, the figures for the current religious profile of the population of India should become available in a couple of years. If the trends of the previous couple of decades continue i.e example; huge conversion of the population into Christianity in Arunachal Pradesh, there will be a major change in the religious composition of several parts of India, including and especially the northeast and Arunachal Pradesh.

Conversion, Migration and loss of traditional beliefs[edit]

Since the Christian missionaries had set foot in the state of Arunachal Pradesh, there has been a lot of change in beliefs resulting in conversion. The traditional belief of Donyi-Poloism has been the major sufferer due to the coming of Christianity in Arunachal Pradesh. Conversion into christianity has been a fast process and now the majority of the population are christian and this change can be seen when compared to the census of India 2001.

Migration too has been playing a major role in the changing of the religious population of Arunachal Pradesh. The major flow has been of the Muslim population who have been migrating in search of jobs and better livelihood and the passing years have seen their growth in numbers too in the state of Arunachal Pradesh

Tackling the loss of culture: Religious Beliefs[edit]

Though the scenario in Arunachal Pradesh concentrating on religion has changed compared to the past years but it has also alerted the native people of the flaws of accepting a foreign religion and the people have started working on to save their traditional Beliefs and avoid the extinction of their fore father's religion.

According to the 2001 Indian Census, the religions of Arunachal Pradesh break down as follows:[1]

  • Hindu: 379,935 (34.6%)
  • Others (mostly Donyi-Polo): 337,399 (30.7%)
  • Christian: 205,548 (18.7%)
  • Buddhist: 143,028 (13.0%)
  • Muslim: 20,675 (1.9%)
  • Sikh: 1,865 (0.1%)
  • Jain: 216 (<0.1%)


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