The World’s Largest Democracy & the Catholic Church

The world’s largest democracy went to the polls this spring. Over the past six weeks, Indians elected representatives to Lok Sabha, the lower house of parliament; of the 1.4 billion Indians, 969 million of them were eligible to vote.

Prime Minister Narenda Modi’s party, Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP), won another victory, though the win was not as large as most analysts predicted. In 2014, BJP won 303 seats, this election, though, they only won 240 seats – not enough to secure a majority. According to Bloomberg, BJP will need support from other allies to form a government.

India’s Economic Picture

Under Modi’s leadership, India has been one of the fastest growing economies in the world. In the last quarter of 2023, the economy grew 8.4%. India is currently the world’s fifth largest economy and is on pace to become the third largest by 2027.

However, some commentators have flashed warning signs about India’s growth. Subhash Chandra Garg, the former finance secretary, said Modi’s second term was actually “one of the lowest growth periods in Indian’s history since the 1991 reforms.”

Foreign and private investment has also been falling in recent years. According to Time, “Private sector investment has in fact been falling as a proportion of GDP since 2012 and the economy is now largely driven by huge government investment.”

Youth unemployment also remains a problem for India. “More than 80 per cent of India’s unemployed workforce comprises its youth,” reported Business Standard.

The Catholic Church

Catholics in India comprise a small portion of India’s population—around 20 million. Despite its size, the Church has a rich tradition in the country dating back to the Apostle Thomas, who, as tradition says, ministered in the country.

The Catholic Church in India is comprised of three individual Churches: Latin, Syro-Malabar, and Syro-Malankara.

In recent months, the Catholic Bishop’s Conference in India has “expressed alarm at rising intolerance in Indian society and political life,” according to The Pillar. The bishops released a statement decrying the increased attacks on Christians. “Destruction of homes and churches, harassment of personnel serving in orphanages hostels, educational and healthcare institutions on false allegations of conversion have become common.”

Open Doors, an organization which supports persecuted Christians, noted that Indian states are implementing anti-conversion laws, “creating an environment where any Christian who shares their faith can be accused of a crime, intimidated, harassed and even met with violence.”

 

 

Nick Sentovich serves as a producer for The Drew Marinai Show from 2-5 pm CT. He previously served as the producer for The Inner Life and Father Simon Says. He is also a husband and a father.