Religion: Trafficking in Nuns?

The state of Kerala, in southwest India, is overpopulated even by Indian standards, and life is hard for its 20 million residents. For the state's 2,600,000 Latin-and Syrian-rite Catholics, the burden is even heavier. Strictly loyal to papal birth-control teachings, Catholic families, some with incomes of less than $350 a year, often have between eight and 15 children. Thus dowries for marriageable girls are out of the question. Under such conditions, an opportunity to send a daughter off to a European convent was like a godsend—and hundreds of families took advantage of it....

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!