The far northeast of India is linked to the rest of the country only by a narrow corridor of land. It is one of the poorest regions in India and an area of frequent unrest. In relative terms, the Catholic Church is quite young here. It began to spread here only around the end of the 19th century – and in many regions only in the last few decades. There are some 2 million Catholics living in this region, most of whom belong to ethnic minorities. Owing to an influx of Bengali migrants from Bangladesh, the proportion of Muslims in the population has grown much faster in recent decades in northeast India than in other parts of the country.
One of the more recent dioceses in northeast India is that of Bongaigaon, in the state of Assam. There are close to 67,000 Catholics here among a total population of 64 million. Most of these Catholics belong to the indigenous Bodo peoples, but in the diocese as a whole, at least a dozen different languages are spoken.
While in the past it was foreign missionaries who first announced the gospel here, today the Church is increasingly represented by indigenous vocations. Currently, there are 23 young men from the Diocese of Bongaigaon who are preparing for ordination as priests. They themselves come overwhelmingly from poor, indigenous families who can do little to contribute financially to the formation of their sons.
ACN has stepped in to help with a promise of $10,500.
Will you help us fulfill this promise to help with the training of poor seminarians in India?
Aid to the Church in Need commits to invest your funds where they will have the greatest impact for the Church that we serve. Funds donated to Aid to the Church in Need’s projects will be used towards the greatest need in our programs to help keep the Faith alive.