Pentecostals, Proselytization, and Anti-Christian Violence in Contemporary India
Chad M. Bauman, Author
(Oxford University Press: 2015)
The writing of this book was supported by the Pentecostal Charismatic Research Initiative.
Every year, there are several hundred attacks on India’s Christians. These attacks are carried out by violent anti-minority activists, many of them provoked by what they perceive to be a Christian propensity for aggressive proselytization, or by rumored or real conversions to the faith. Pentecostals are disproportionately targeted.
Drawing on extensive interviews, ethnographic work, and a vast scholarly literature on interreligious violence, Hindu nationalism, and Christianity in India, Chad Bauman examines this phenomenon. While some of the factors in the targeting of Pentecostals are obvious and expected-their relatively greater evangelical assertiveness, for instance-other significant factors are less acknowledged and more surprising: marginalization of Pentecostals by “mainstream” Christians, the social location of Pentecostal Christians, and transnational flows of missionary personnel, theories, and funds. A detailed analysis of Indian Christian history, contemporary Indian politics, Indian social and cultural characteristics, and Pentecostal belief and practice, this volume sheds important light on a troubling fact of contemporary Indian life.
An excerpt from the book:
This book was an accident of sorts. For nearly a decade I have been conducting research on violence against Christians in India. Examining and attempting to account for what I discovered was the disproportionate targeting of Pentecostal Christians in that violence was initially intended to be one small element of a larger, more general and theoretical book project on anti-Christians, a project in which I continue to work.