The Diocese of Marathwada (CNI)

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About Us

The Diocese of Marathwada (Church of North India) is working in seven districts of Marathwada region of Maharashtra i.e. Aurangabad, Jalna, Beed, Parbani, Hingoli, Nanded and Jalgaon (Khandesh area).

The Diocese of Marathwada, is among one of the weaker Diocese of the Church of North India. The Diocesan area is mostly consists of the Dalit communities and rural Churches. It is always our joy to work for the extension of God's reign and to win many souls for God's glory.
In the year 1818, the British established their rule over Maharashtra, which provided an opportunity for the protestant missionaries to start work in this part of India.  The British found the Marathas the most defiant.  Maharashtra proved to be the most difficult ground for the spread of Christianity. 
Firstly, the upper caste Brahmin who had held all the important positions in the Government and had dominated the Maratha state under the Peshwas (1713 - 1818) could not reconcile themselves to the fact that they had lost their power.  This deep resentment and hatred against the British were transfer to Christian Missionaries as well.  Secondly, the poet Saints of Maharashtra viz. Tukaram, Namdev and others, coming from the lower castes, had through Bhakti movement so spiritually transformed Maratha society that there developed a feeling of spiritual equality and oneness among them. 
Tukaram especially had captured the heart of the people through his Abhangas that filled every Maratha heart with Bhakti and devotion.  In one sense, they had succeeded in meeting the felt spiritual needs of the people of Maharashtra, and the Missionaries found it difficult to break through this influence.
However, Aurangabad proved to be the most successful of the CMS stations in Maharashtra. In the year 1860, under the leadership of Davidson and a catechist entry into Aurangabad area was made. The first congregation came up with 24 conversions. Gradually there were many who turned to the CMS Mission. Since the Church of Scotland had already well established its work at Jalna near Aurangabad, an understanding between the two missions was reached demarcating the area of work of each mission. By 1921, there were at least 4,000 Christians in Aurangabad. Both among Mahars and Mangs there was a real beginning of a movement in this area but for want of sufficient Christian workers to counsel and nurture them in Christian belief, the movement slow down. 

The vastness of the area and the large number of converts made it difficult for Indian pastors to be effective S.J. Dive looked after 70 villages where there were some Christians. S.S. Patole had to look after a pastorate area of 110 villages with a thousand Christians.  

The first Church built by the Church of Scotland Missionaries in Jalna is the Cathedral Church (Christ Church) of the Diocese of Marathwada CNI, upholding its magnificent beauty and cultural heritage for God’s glory. The Diocese values its rich cultural heritage and with utmost gratitude honors the hard work done by the two missions (The Church Missionary Society and The Scottish Presbyterians Mission) in sowing the seed of Christian faith in our region of Marathwada. 

The Diocese has a total of 34 pastorates mostly in rural villages, with 150 churches in seven districts of Marathwada region. The total number of clergies in the diocese are 35 with 19 missionaries working in 7 districts of Marathwada.

The Bishop of the Diocese The Rt. Revd. M.U. Kasab, as a committed servant who always focuses on mission work. As a result we are working together with IGM (Indian Gospel Mission) and NMS (National Missionary Society) in order to motivate the missionary work through which more churches can come up in the near future.

Boarding Schools:    

CMS mission also started boarding institutions for girls and boys, which proved to be of great value in bringing youngsters as Christians and in enabling them to build career and live a good life. In the girl’s boarding school in Aurangabad, there were 75 girls in the age group of 7 to 15 years. There was a long waiting list indicating the great need of such boarding schools. Some of the girls who passed the vernacular final exams were sent to St. Monica’s Teachers Training School to be trained as teachers.

There were only four Bible women in Aurangabad and the wives of the catechists were uneducated. To overcome the problem, efforts were made to train some elder girls from the Boarding School by asking them to accompany the pastor during his visits to surrounding villages.