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Christianity in India

Christians in India
Nasrani cross.jpg
Total population
27,819,588 (2011)
Regions with significant populations
Majority in Nagaland, Mizoram and Meghalaya. Significant populations in Goa, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Arunachal Pradesh and Manipur
Malayalam, Tamil, Konkani, Kannada, English, Hindi and various Indian languages
Predominantly Roman Catholic (Latin Rite), Saint Thomas Christians (East Syrian Rite / West Syrian Rite) and various denominations of Protestants
Related ethnic groups
Nasranis, Knanaya, East Indians, Khasis, Mizos, Kukis, Nagas, Anglo-Indians, Goan Catholics, Mangalorean Catholics

Christianity is India's third-largest religion according to the census of 2011, with approximately 27.8 million followers, constituting 2.3 percent of India's population. Old legends say that Christianity was introduced to India by Thomas the Apostle, who visited Muziris in Tamilakam in AD 52. There is a general scholarly consensus that Christianity was definitely established in India by the 6th century AD, including some communities who used Syriac liturgically, and it is possible that the religion's existence there extends to as far back as the purported time of St.Thomas's arrival.

Christians are found all across India and in all walks of life, with major populations in parts of South India, the Konkan Coast, and Northeast India. Indian Christians have contributed significantly to and are well represented in various spheres of national life. They include former and current chief ministers, governors and chief election commissioners. Indian Christians have the highest ratio of women to men among the various religious communities in India.

Christianity in India has different denominations. The state of Kerala is home to the Saint Thomas Christian community, an ancient body of Christians,who are now divided into several different churches and traditions. They are Eastern Syrian Saint Thomas Christian churches: the Syro-Malabar Catholic Church and the Chaldean Syrian Church.The Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church, Malankara Jacobite Syrian Church, Syro-Malankara Catholic Church, Mar Thoma Syrian Church and the Malabar Independent Syrian Church are West Syrian Saint Thomas Christian Churches. Since the 19th century Protestant churches have also been present; major denominations include the Church of South India (CSI), St. Thomas Evangelical Church of India, the Church of North India (CNI), the Presbyterian Church of India, Baptists, Lutherans, Traditional Anglicans and other evangelical groups. The Christian Church runs thousands of educational institutions and hospitals which have contributed significantly to the development of the nation.