The Anointing of the Airwaves : Charismatic Televangelism’s Impact on the Church and Community in urban India

Document Type

Journal Article


University of Toronto Press


Faculty of Education and Arts


School of Communication and Arts


This article was originally published as: James, J., & Shoesmith, B. (2008). The Anointing of the Airwaves: Charismatic Televangelism’s Impact on the Church and Community in urban India. Journal of Religion and Popular Culture, 18(1). Original article available here


The Indian Government’s open policy on satellite television is attracting a plethora of American-based charismatic television ministries in India. This study, albeit based on preliminary findings from a limited study of church and Hindu community leaders, shows that Charismatic pastors are more positive about Charismatic televangelism than non-Charismatic pastors. Both groups, however, have strong reservations on issues like fundraising, dress code and western dancing. The high-caste Hindus revealed during the research that they were resistant to any form of Christian evangelism including televangelism. Besides caste, class, language and gender, televangelism faces cultural barriers in reaching Indians. The prosperity, success and healing doctrines of Charismatic teaching seem to appeal to Hindus from the middle to lower level economic classes. Concerns have been expressed, however, by Christian leaders that these Hindus who are attracted to Charismatic televangelism may be espousing a form of Christianity (loosely termed "popular Christianity") that focuses on personal fulfillment rather than personal holiness and accountability within the life of the Christian community.



Article Location


Link to publisher version (DOI)