The Other As An Enemy Of

Christians in Asia belong to all the three confessional families of the Christian faith; namely, Eastern Orthodox, Roman Catholic and Protestant. The Eastern Orthodox Christians belong to the earliest Christian communities of Asia. Their entry into the Christian faith was not as dramatic as the conversion of people in India and other parts of Asia during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries through the work of the Roman Catholic and Protestant missions from the west. For example, the early Syrian Orthodox community in Kerala, India, positioned itself comfortably within the Hindu community in India. 2 The Protestant converts, on the other hand, had a dramatic break from the Hindu community and such a break led to the perception of the Hindu 'other' as an enemy of God. In some settings, the early Christians were persecuted by the Hindu or Muslim communities. For example, a new town, called Mudalur (First Town), came into being in South India as a way of protecting the early converts from their Hindu neighbours.3 Settings like these promoted a posture that saw the other as an enemy of God. This would entail viewing the other as a worshipper of demons rather than of God.

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