Liberation Theology refers to radical shift within the Christian theology which emphasised the role of the church in bringing justice to the oppressed and the poor through political activism and organising the poor. The term Liberation Theology for this movement was first used by the Peruvian Priest Gustavo Gutierrez and further explained it in a book authored by him titled `Theology of Liberation' in the year 1971. It was argued that the theology should involve revolutionary action on behalf of the poor and oppressed and the theologian must therefore be immersed in the struggle for transforming the society through liberation of the oppressed. Marxism exerted a profound influence on Liberation Theologians who blended Catholic teachings with Marxist economic philosophy for a theoretical basis for their professed preferential option for the poor.
In Bombay, it inspired a group of people including George Nainan, a priest who founded the Bombay Urban Industrial League for Development in the year 1973, which was one of the first NGOs to take up the issue of slum housing. BUILD under the influence of liberation theology became actively involved in the struggle of Janata Colony residents who were facing eviction at that time.