Christianity in Kerala
Christianity is the third-most practiced religion in Kerala, accounting for 20% of the population according to the Indian census. Although a minority, the Christian population of Kerala is proportionally much larger than that of India as a whole. A significant portion of the Indian Christian population resides in the state,. The Christians of Kerala are divided into Syrian, Latin and New Christian groupings, which may be regarded as castes. The Saint Thomas Christians or Syrians were baptized by Thomas the Apostle who arrived in Muziris in AD 52. The Apostle founded seven churches or Syrian Christian communities and ordained presbyters. There were Christians in Kerala for many centuries before the arrival of the first European on the Malabar Coast. Marco Polo initially brought news of them to Europe. He visited India at the end of the thirteenth century. The first emissary from Rome, John of Monte Corvino, sent by Pope Innocent III, is thought to have stayed in Kerala in 1291 and he was followed by various other priests and travellers from Europe. Saint Thomas Christians (also known as Syrian Christians or Nasrani) include the Syro-Malabar Catholic, Malankara Orthodox, Jacobite, Marthoma, Syro-Malankara Catholic and Syrian Anglicans in the Church of South India. Latin Catholics owe their origin to the missionary activities involving western missionaries in India especially Kerala. Most of the people who were converted by the western missionaries belonged to the most poor and deprived sections of the Hindu Society. It is no surprise that the bulk of new converts belonged to the coastal community of Kerala. The bulk of Catholics in the rest of India belong to the Latin Rite.
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, established seven churches in Kerala, and died a martyr in Mylapore, Chennai, in 72 A.D. However, modern historians disagree with this story. The exact year of his arrival 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 Syriac Christian community. A second period of intense Latin Christian missionary activity began with the arrival of European missionaries due to the discovery of the sea route to India by Vasco da Gama in 1498.
- Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church
- Jacobite Syrian Church
- Malabar Independent Syrian Church
- Malankara Mar Thoma Syrian Church
- Syro-Malankara Catholic Church
- Assemblies of God
- Church of God (Full Gospel) in India
- Heavenly Feast Church
- Indian Pentecostal Church
- Kerala Brethren
- Local Churches
- Salvation Army
- Sharon fellowship church
- St. Thomas Evangelical Church of India
- The Pentecostal Mission
- St. Peter's & St.Paul's Syrian Orthodox Church, Parumala, (tomb of St Gregorios of Parumala)
- St.George forane church aruvithura (Ancient St.mary's church) founded on 1st century by St.Thomas The apostle
- 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.)
- Manjanikkara Dayara, Omallur, Pathanamthitta, (tomb of St Ignatiaus Elias 3rd Patriarch)
- St. George’s Malankara Orthodox Church, Puthuppally Pally (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 Syrian 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.
- 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.
- Marth Mariam Syro-Malabar Catholic Forane Church, Arakuzha, estd. 999
- Marth Mariam Syro-Malabar Catholic Forane Church, Kuravilangadu
- St. Mary's Syro-Malabar Catholic Forane Church, Athirampuzha, Kottayam. Estd: AD 835
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