Thursday, June 21, 2012

Indians in Natal

Emanuel Gabriel presented a paper on the establishment of the Christian church amongst Indian people in Natal.

1868-1920 saw Indian people trapped in indentured labour. They were simply 'tools of labour'. Many of these people were Christians, who assumed that the cordial relationship they had with the English Christian Churches in India would be replicated in Natal.

Expecting to be welcomed into the local churches they found this not to be the case. They were set apart: in the Anglican Cathedral they sat in their own row; the Methodists arranged for Rev Scott, who was Tamil speaking, and organised separate Indian church services; and the Baptists, who arranged for family units to come from India, and as a consequence created closed Indian Christian communities
The Indian Christian people were thus separated from other Christians from their first arrival.
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