The Anointing of the Airwaves : Charismatic Televangelism’s Impact on the Church and Community in urban India
University of Toronto Press
Faculty of Education and Arts
School of Communication and Arts
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.