How White Missionaries Helped Birth Modern-Day India

An Indian missionary tells fellow Christians to stop complaining and follow their forefathers' example.
How White Missionaries Helped Birth Modern-Day India
Image: Gary Gnidovic

In 1971, as an Indian medical student, M. A. Raju read Francis Schaeffer's The God Who Is There and sensed his atheism foundering. He journeyed to L'Abri Switzerland, spent three months in Calcutta with Mother Teresa, then worked alongside Muslims and Jews in Israel trying to understand their religions. By 1976, "I finally came to the conclusion that Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life," said the medical missionary based in Kachua, a seedbed of poverty and Hindu fundamentalism in North India.

Now, Raju presides over a struggling hospital, Mujwa, founded by Christian missionaries more than 100 years ago. And he's continuing their legacy of "fulfilling the Great Commission and practicing the Great Commandment. They wanted the gospel to be out and they wanted to love their neighbor as themselves. We thought we must do the same." When Raju arrived 11 years ago, Mujwa was seeing about 1,800 patients per day; now it sees almost 30,000 patients per year (about a 1,700 percent increase in a decade).

Raju (who has requested anonymity due to sustained violence against Christians in his area) spoke with CT design director Gary Gnidovic on site in Kachua about how Christian missionaries of an earlier era—like the ones in CT's Jan/Feb cover story—benefited India.

When it comes to the history of missions, we often think in terms of all the mistakes that have been done, in India and other places where there's been cultural insensitivity. But you are working on an apologetic, of sorts, for missionaries of the past.

The missionaries came on the backs of the colonists. When the missionaries arrived, they didn't find a unified India. They found nearly 70 major kingdoms, ...

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