Catholic Church in India

In India there are about 25 million Christians who followed the tradition of Saint Thomas the Apostle (2.4 % of India's population); 8 million live in cities, and 16 million live in the country. The number of Catholics is almost 17 million. They belong to the Roman Catholic Church and two eastern rite Churches, reconciled with Rome: the Syro-Malabar Church and the Syro-Malankara Church.
In total, in India there are 151 archdioceses and dioceses (120 of Latin rite, 26 of Syro-Malabarese rite and 5 of Syro-Malankarese rite). There are 14,000 diocesan priests, 13,500 religious priests and 4,300 brothers belonging to 70 male congregations. 90,000 women are female religious (230 congregations). The Roman Catholic Church in India is the largest one - about 12 million Catholics.

The Syro-Malabar Church (Chaldean rite, liturgical language: Malayalam used by Malabarese Christians) is Major Archbishopric, i.e. almost a Patriarchate; the Metropolitan See is Ernakulam-Angamaly (State of Kerala) with numerous eparchies, outside the state as well. Number of Syro-Malabarese Catholics: 3,600,000.

The Syro-Malankara Church (Antioch rite, liturgical language: Syriac and Malayalam) is also Major Archbishopric, consisting of five eparchies; Metropolitan See: Trivandrum.
Number of Syro-Malankarese Catholics: 500,000.

India - religions

Followers of Hinduism - 80.5%
Muslims - 13.4%
Christians - 2.4% (Catholics - 1.6%)
Sikhs - 1.9%
Buddhists - 0.8%
Other - 1%

"Niedziela" 29/2005

Editor: Tygodnik Katolicki "Niedziela", ul. 3 Maja 12, 42-200 Czestochowa, Polska
Editor-in-chief: Fr Jaroslaw Grabowski • E-mail: