The CLS - A Profile in Brief
The Christian Literature Society (C.L.S.) is purely a religious one. The Society as it stands now, is an amalgamation of several societies which made their appearance as publishers and distributors of Christian literature in India. In 1818, the Madras Religious Tract Association was formed as an auxiliary of the London Religious Tract and Book Society imported tracts which were zealously distributed from the Association depository. The London Religious Tract Society itself originated in 1799 to promote the circulation of religious books and treatises in England and other countries.
In 1854, Dr. John Murdoch, Scottish Missionary, came to Madras from Ceylon and worked for the spreading of Gospel through printing and publishing. In 1858, he founded the Christian Vernacular Education Society amalgamating with it the South India School Book Society and the Madras Religious Tract and Books Society. In 1891, the name of the Association became the Christian Literature Society.
Almost a century later in 1951, because of India attaining political independence, the Society (C.L.S.) a branch of the United Society for Christian Literature, London, became an autonomous body incorporated in India under the Indian Companies Act of 1913. From these early societies, C.L.S. has inherited the tradition of publishing and distribution of Christian literature its concern acting in concert with other religious publishing agencies such as Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge.