Christianity in Kerala
Christianity is the third-most practiced religion in Kerala with 20% of the population according to the Indian census. Although a minority, Christians represent a much larger percentage of the population of Kerala than of India considered as a whole. It's a significant minority within Christianity in India,. Christianity is believed to have reached the shores of Kerala in 52 A.D. with the arrival of St Thomas, one of the Twelve Apostles of Jesus Christ. Saint Thomas Christians (also known as Syrian Christians or Nasrani) include the Syro-Malabar Catholic and Syro-Malankara Catholic, Malankara Orthodox, Jacobite, Marthoma and Church of South India. Latin Rite is the predominant rite of the Roman Catholic Church in India. Latin church in Kerala has a rich history which is as old as the arrival of Western Missionaries in India. Archdiocese of Verapoly, of the Latin Rite was the first Roman Catholic Diocese in Kerala.
The origins of Christianity in Kerala go back to the earliest period of the Church itself. In fact, there is a tradition among the Christian people of Kerala that St. Thomas the Apostle, one of the twelve disciples of Jesus, landed on the Kerala coast in 52 A.D. and preached the Gospel. He organized Christian communities, in several places and established seven churches in Kerala and then at last got martyrdom in Mylapore, Chennai, in 72 A.D. However the exact year of his arrival here is disputed due to lack of credible historical evidence. In 345 A.D., a Palestinian business man, Thomas Cana, along with 72 families came and settled in Kerala, thereby augmenting the Christian community. A second period of intense Latin Christian missionary activity began with the arrival of European missionaries since the discovery of sea route to India by Vasco da Gama in 1498.
Christian pilgrimage sites
- St.Philomena's Church,Koonammavu ( where the remains of Blessed Kuriakose Elias Chavara are buried.)
- St.Andrews Basilica Arthunkal,Cherthala
- Marth Mariam Jacobite Syrian Cathedral Church, Manarcad. (Global Marian Pilgrim Center)
- Saint Thomas Syro-Malabar Catholic Church, Malayattoor, (built at an altitude of 600 meters from mean sea level.)
- St. Peter's & St.Paul's Syrian Orthodox Church, Parumala, (tomb of St Gregorios of Parumala)
- Manjanikkara Dayara, Omallur, Pathanamthitta, (tomb of St Ignatiaus Elias 3rd Patriarch)
- St. George’s Malankara Orthodox Church, Puthupalli (Global Georgian Pilgrim center)
- St. George Jacobite Syrian Orthodox Church, Kadamattam (famous for Kadamattathu Kathanar)
- Mar Thoma Jacobite Syrian Cathedral Cheriapally, Kothamangalam (tomb of Eldho Mor Baselios)
- Ollur Church|St. Anthony's Syro-Malabar Catholic Forane Church & Archdiocesan Shrine of St. Raphael the Archangel Ollur
- St Mary's Jacobite Syrian Valiyapally, ThamarachalAluva (Girdle of St Mary)
- St Thomas Jacobite Church, North Paravur (tomb of Gregorios Abdul Jaleel)
- St. George Orthodox Church, Chandanapally
- St. George Orthodox Church, Cheppad (12th century murals and tomb of Mar Dionysius IV)
- St. Francis C.S.I. Church, Fort Kochi, built in 1503 C.E., is the oldest European church, declared as a National Monument in India.
- Saint Joseph Syro-Malabar Catholic Church in Mannanam, Kottayam
- St. Alphonsamma Syro-Malabar Catholic Church, Bharananganam, Pala(where the remains of St.Alphonsa are buried; the first woman Saint of India.)
- Basilica of Our Lady of Ransom, Vallarpadam, Ernakulam
- St. Mary's Latin Catholic Church Thankey, Cherthala.
- St. George Syro-Malabar Catholic Church, Edathua.
- St. Antony's Latin Catholic Church, Kaloor, Kochi.
- Divine Retreat Centre, Potta-Muringoor, Chalakudi.
- St. Mary’s Jacobite Syrian Church Kattachira, Kayamkulam (tears flowing from the eyes of St Mary's Photo)
- St. Joseph's Latin Catholic Shrine, Kannamaly,
- Holy Cross chapel, Mattancherry.
- St. Mary's Syro-Malabar Catholic Forane Church, Arakuzha.
- Marth Mariam Syro-Malabar Catholic Forane Church, Kuravilangadu
- St. Mary's Syro-Malabar Catholic Forane Church, Athirampuzha, Kottayam. Estd: AD 835
- St. Mary's Syro-Malabar Catholic Forane Church, Arakuzha, estd. 999
- Our Lady of Dolours Basilica Thrissur
Western / Latin Rite
Eastern / Syrian Rites
Other Eastern Christian Rites
- Chaldean Syrian Church
- Jacobite Syrian Church
- Malabar Independent Syrian Church
- Malankara Mar Thoma Syrian Church
- Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church
- St. Thomas Evangelical Church of India
- Indian Pentecostal Church
- Assemblies of God
- Church of God (Full Gospel) in India
- Sharon Pentecostal Fellowship Church
- The Pentecostal Mission
- New India Church of God
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- Compiled by Robert Eric Frykenberg (2005-07-01). "Timeline". Ctlibrary.com. Retrieved 2013-12-16.
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- Thomas Puthiakunnel, (1973) "Jewish colonies of India paved the way for St. Thomas", The Saint Thomas Christian Encyclopedia of India, ed. George Menachery, Vol. II.
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- `Christianity in India : A True Face`, Ch:11,`Christianity in Kerala`by Dr. John Vallamattam, Ed.&Pub.:CBCI Commission, New Delhi,1981, page104
- World Christian Encyclopedia , Second edition, 2001 Volume 1, p. 368-371
- "Mar Thoma Syrian Church of Malabar". Marthoma.in. Retrieved 2013-12-16.
- "Malankara Orthodox Church - Kottayam Seminary". Malankaraorthodoxchurch.in. Retrieved 2013-12-16.
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