Christians are in a minority in Karnataka. Mangalorean Catholics have been present for centuries in this southern state of India. The state has a Roman Catholic Diocese of Mangalore, A Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Bangalore, A Roman Catholic Diocese of Belgaum, a Roman Catholic Diocese of Karwar, A Roman Catholic Diocese of Bellary, a Roman Catholic Diocese of Udupi, a Roman Catholic Diocese of Mysore, a Roman Catholic Diocese of Shimoga, and a Roman Catholic Diocese of Gulbarga.
Church of South India is the second biggest church of Karnataka. India Christian Mission Church, an Anglican body, is present in Doddaballapur in the rural area of Bangalore since the 1920’s.

Famous Churches of Karnataka

Bengaluru Churches

Bethel Assembly of God Church

Bethel Assembly of God Church is in Bengaluru. It is one of the mega churches of India. It is one of the most influential churches of Asia. The Hebbal campus is sprawled in 3.5 acres. It includes a vast parking area that can accommodate about 2000 bikes and 1000 cars. The campus has a couple of bookstores and two worship centers with a seating capacity of 3500. At present, the church offers eight linguistic services – English, Malayalam, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Hindi, Nepali, and French.

Fort Church or St. Luke’s Church

Fort Church was the original structure within Bengaluru Fort in Bengaluru. The church was demolished to build Vani Vilas Hospital. Later, the Government of Mysore granted land in Chamrajpet to build a new church, which is now called St. Luke’s Church. According to historical records, Fort Church was called the Drummer’s Chapel, which was built by British soldiers. The church was the first protestant church in Bengaluru.

Holy Trinity Church

Holy Trinity Church is at Trinity Circle on MG Road in Bengaluru. It was constructed in 1851 for the British Regiment in the city. The Church displays English Renaissance style. It can accommodate 700 people. It features a congregation of more than 450 families. It is considered the biggest “military” church of South India.

The church’s foundation stone was laid on February 16, 1848. Church walls are lined with ornate marble tablets and murals. They tell about the great people who labored for the church. Some of the statues were sculpted in England. Rev W W Lutyens did the adornments and the furnishing of church. Mears Foundry from London cast the church’s bell in 1847. The pipe organ and the pulpit are also from London. The organ is now at Tamil Evangelical Lutheran Church. Even the stained glass, which shows baptism of Jesus, and the baptismal pond are from London.

Infant Jesus Church

Infant Jesus Church is Bengaluru’s Roman Catholic Church built in 1971. As the name suggests, the church is dedicated to baby Jesus. It is called Infant Jesus Shrine. It was constructed to honor the notable Infant Jesus of Prague. Since the construction, several miracles have happened. This has increased the popularity of the shrine. In 2005, a new church building was constructed adjacent to the old one.

The Thursday mass at Infant Jesus Church has seen an increase in audience over the years. About 10,000 people visit the church on the mass day. They belong to different religions. The church performs seven masses in various languages. On January 14 every year, the annual feast day is celebrated at the church. It is done so since 1971. Thousands of people attend the feast and watch the ceremonies.

The other popular churches in Bengaluru are: St. Paul’s Church, St. John’s Church, St. Mark’s Cathedral, St. Gregorios Orthodox Cathedral, St. Andrew’s Church, St. Mary’s Basilica, St. Francis Xavier’s Cathedral, and Richmond Town Methodist Church.

Mangalore Churches

St. Francis Xavier Church

Also popular as Bejai Church, St. Francis Xavier Church is a notable Roman Catholic Church in Bejai locality of Mangalore. Constructed in 1869, the original structure was a simple chapel where Sunday masses were held.

Church of Our Lady of Rosary of Mangalore

Also called Rosario Cathedral, Church of Our Lady of Rosary is a Roman Catholic cathedral, which comes in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Mangalore. It is dedicated to Our Lady of Rosary. This is the first Roman Catholic Church of Canara region. According to historic reports, this was Mangalore’s sole parish church meant for the high-caste Mangalorean Catholics.

The church was constructed in 1568 by the Portuguese. Legend says that some fishermen at sea found the image of Virgin Mary at the high altar caught in their fishnet. They installed it in the church. In 1784, Mysore ruler Tipu Sultan vandalized the church. In 1813, the church was reconstructed.

Other churches in Mangalore are: Belthangady Varado, Holy Cross Church in Cordel and one in Pavoor, Church of Most Holy Savior or Agrar Church, Hospet Church, Mount Rosary Church, Milagres Church in Mangalore and one in Kallianpur, Most Holy Redeemer Church in Belthangady, Monte Mariano Church, St. Aloysius Chapel, St. Lawrence Shrine, Our Lady of Mercy of Ullal, and Church of St. Francis of Assisi.


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