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100 years ago: Indian mission schools

by
21 January 2022

January 20th, 1922.

FRESH evidence comes of the difficulties in which the changing political conditions are placing the Indian missions, and especially their educational work. The proposal to introduce a conscience clause in all schools and colleges receiving Government grants is one that vitally affects the future of mission schools, and if the proposal is given force in one or two provinces the others will follow. It is quite natural that the growing self-consciousness of India should lead Hindus and Moslems to the point of unwillingness to sanction definite instruction from the Bible for students of their faiths. It is equally natural that supporters of missions should hold that schools are not worth maintaining unless they directly fulfil their purpose of promoting the Faith. The committee of the C.M.S. [Church Missionary Society] has indicated the line which the Society will take. If the abstentions from Christian teaching in any school become so numerous that it loses its Christian atmosphere, it cannot be continued as a mission school. But if a conscience clause is imposed in any part of India the missionaries will accept it, and prove by experiment whether a school or college can be carried on with full missionary efficiency under the new conditions. That seems to be a very sensible course to follow. If education is so valued by the Indian that he is willing to accept the condition, the school will live. If it is not, the energy and money expended on the school may be transferred to another form of missionary work.


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