Opinion Polls Point to Straying Christian Faith

Straying Faith book cover

KOCHI (C. M. Paul) — Vazhithettunna Viswasam, Edited by Rev Dr Kuriakose Mundadan, S.H. League, Alwaye, 2009, 300 pages, Rs. 100. mulla008@gmail.com
This timely book, with 30,000 copies in its second edition within two months of first publication, explains the phenomenon of the growing number of Christian sects in India and particularly in Kerala. It is the result of an extensive research conducted by 2nd year Philosophy students of St Joseph Pontifical Seminary Alwaye under the direction of Rev Dr Thomas Kannany MST.
Forty eight seminarians panned out to various parts of the southern Indian state which claims its Christian origin to the days of Jesus Christ’s own disciple and Apostle Thomas. In an opinion poll they contacted 10,000 Catholic homes and collected data for eight survey questions. In a second opinion poll they interviewed 1,000 Catholics returning from the Gulf countries with a second set of eight questions.
The book written in Malayalam language contains writings on Catholic faith-life related topics by 31 eminent scholars. The book is divided into three parts.
The first part has 14 topics pertaining to history and growth of sects as well as features some of the prominent sects operating in Kerala and India in general.
Another 14 topics in the second part deals with Catholic Church traditions, interpretation of Holy Scriptures, sacraments, priesthood, veneration of saints and so on.
The third part, explains in detail the shocking results of the opinion polls conducted in October 2009.
It is a must read book for pastoral workers as well as every Catholic interested in his or her personal faith formation. A replication of the opinion polls in other states or language groups is bound to throw up equally shocking results. Enlisting philosophy and theology students of regional seminaries for this project would render hands-on-experience to future pastors in grappling with phenomenon of the growth of Christian sects in their region and help them to brace up against its onslaught.
The book is endorsed by the president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India His Eminence Varkey Cardinal Vithayathil and Kerala Catholic Bishop’s Council Chairman Archbishop Mar Ignathios, as well as Archbishop Powathil, Bishops Chakyath, Chakalackal, Puthur and Syro-Malabar Synod Spokesperson Dr Paul Thelakat.

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Filed under Christian Sects, Gulf Catholics, Kerala Catholics, Missionaries, Opinion Poll, Seminarians, Student

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