Church, a Non-Profit Organization

Topics: Bangladesh, Bengali language, Catholic Church Pages: 6 (1765 words) Published: July 9, 2013


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An Assignment
Nonprofit organization

Submitted to:
Department of Marketing
University of Dhaka.

Submitted by:
Mary Akhi Gomes
Roll no-77
MBA 9th batch
Section – A
Department of Marketing

Date of submission: 22nd March, 2009
University of Dhaka.

Christianity in the Indian subcontinent is almost as old as Christianity in its birthplace. There is a strong tradition in south India that St. Thomas the Apostle introduced Christianity in India in 52 AD. ‘St. Thomas Christians’ there are a living proof of it. Yet, many a Muslim and Hindu in India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh wrongly consider Christianity a recent phenomenon and a foreign one at that. The Advent of the Portuguese and Christianity in Bengal:

Renowned Portuguese navigator Vasco da Gama rounded the Cape of Good Hope of South Africa in 1498 and landed at Calicut (present Kozikode of India) by discovering the sea-route to India. From 1500 onwards, the Portuguese established their power first in Cranganore, then to Cochin and Goa. With these traders and commercial opportunists, also came Franciscan, Dominican, Augustinian, and Jesuit missionaries to bring Indian heathens to Christ. From 1517 onwards, Portuguese traders from Goa were traversing the sea-route to Bengal but were not successful in establishing trading posts in this part of India. Only in 1537, were they allowed to settle and open customs houses at Satgaon (near present-day Hooghly) of West Bengal (India) and Chittagong of present-day Bangladesh. In 1577, Mughal emperor Akbar permitted the Portuguese to build permanent settlements and churches in Bengal. The first Christians in Bengal were the Portuguese themselves. After their intermarriage with local women, their descendants became the first indigenous Christians. Then came the local converts to Christianity from both Hinduism and Islam. Christianity in Bangladesh:

Arab traders and aulias (holy men) brought Islam to Bangladesh through Chittagong and Sylhet in the 9th century AD. The Portuguese traders also brought Christianity to this country through the port of Chittagong, called the Porto Grande or the great port, in the 16th century, but the first church in Bangladesh was built in 1599 at Chandecan (also called Iswaripur or old Jessore) near Kaliganj in the Sunderbans of present Satkhira district. Jesuit Father Francisco Fernandez went to Chandecan in October, 1599, and with permission of King Pratapadittya built a church and a rectory there. This new church, called the ‘Holy Name of Jesus’, was officially dedicated on January 1, 1600, when the King himself was present in the ceremony. The second church, called ‘St. John the Baptist Church’, was built in Chittagong on June 24, 1600 by Jesuit Fathers Francisco Fernandez and Andre Boves with financial assistance from the King of Arakan (presently in western Myanmar or Burma). In 1601, at the invitation of the Portuguese merchants, Dominican Fathers Gaspar da Assumpsao and Melchior da Luz went to Diang (Dianga), south-east of Chittagong on the Karnaphully River, and built the third church (chapel) there. When the Arakanese attacked the place, the chapel was burnt down and missionaries were manhandled. After this, the Dominicans left the place forever. Jesuit Father Francisco Fernandez tried to save some Portuguese children from the Arakanese who had made them slaves. The Arakanese were so enraged that they captured Fr. Fernandez, beat him and placed him in chains in a dark prison. He died there on November 14, 1602 becoming the first Christian martyr in the territory comprising present Bangladesh. In 1608, Islam Khan, the Mughal Subedar of Bengal, made Dhaka – previously a mere military outpost – the capital of Bengal. This was followed by progress and prosperity in business attracting...
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