Pentecostalism in Kerala
Indigenous Pentecostalism in India first emerged from the Syrian Christian community in the state of Kerala. Christianity in Kerala claims its origin in AD 52 when the Apostle Thomas arrived and preached the gospel to Jews and the native high caste Brahmins. In addition, there were evidences of migrations of Christians from Syria in the fourth century and the eighth century to Kerala.
The Pentecostal message from the West arrived in Kerala in 1909 through the visit of George Berg. This American missionary of German descent arrived in Bangalore in 1909 and preached in a convention in Kerala. The first Pentecostal congregation was formed through the efforts of Berg in Kerala only in 1911; this was among first generation Christians. Berg was the first missionary to reach out to the natives who[clarification needed] did not speak English.
In 1913 Pastor Robert F. Cook also came to India as a missionary. He came to Kerala and began his ministry there in 1914. By 1923, Cook had established 36 churches in Kerala, known collectively as the South India Church of God (Full Gospel) in India . Pastor K. E. Abraham, who was associated with Pastor Cook until 1930, was baptized in the Holy Spirit in 1923, an event considered as the foundation for the establishment of the India Pentecostal Church of God. In 1930, Pastor K.E Abraham who believed that local Keralite churches must be independent from foreign organizations for effective evangelization within India, split from Pastor Cook and formed the South India Pentecostal Church of God. He later changed the name of the church to India Pentecostal Church of God.
In addition to the work begun by Abraham, Pentecostalism grew rapidly in Kerala through the ministries of the Ceylon Pentecostal Mission (CPM), the Church of God (Cleveland), and the Assemblies of God.
- Church of God (Full Gospel) in India
- The Pentecostal Mission (TPM)
- Indian Pentecostal Church of God
- Assemblies of God in India
- Prarthanasangamam (International Prayer Fellowship)
- Kerala Brethren
- New India Church of God
- New India Bible Church
- Sharon Fellowship Church
- Church of God (Ecclesia)
- New Life In Jesus Embassy Church
- Full Gospel Pentecostal Church
- Pentecostal Maranatha Gospel Church
- Immanuel Pentecostal Assembly (IPA)
- The church of GOD (kallumala)
- Global Missions India Church
There are hundreds of other independent Non Denominational congregations throughout Kerala. Its strength varying from 20 to 50000 members. These independent groups are formed mainly due to personal missionary visions received by individuals for End time harvest. Some of the biggest congregations are:
|Ministry Name||Senior Pastor||Location|
|Joshua Generation Ministries||Pr. Rajesh Mathew||Ernakulam|
|Heavenly Feast||Pr. Mathew Kuruvilla & Pr.Thomas Abraham||Kottayam|
|Torch of Truth||Pr. Suresh Babu||Thiruvananthapuram|
|Prarthanasangamam||Pr. KP Jose Vengoor||Dubai|
|Karisma Fire Ministries||Pr. John Tensingh||Thiruvananthapuram|
|Give Jesus to the World||Pr. John Tharu||Anchal|
|Jesus Voice Ministry||Pr. Ani George||Pathanamthitta|
|Grace Fellowship||Pr. Tijo Thomas||Adoor|
|The Master Ministries Trust||Pr. Damien Antony||Ernakulam|
|Divine Ministry of India||Pr. Samachan||Punalur|
|Glory Mission||Pr. Finny Stephen||Maramon|
|Faith City Church||Pr. P R Baby||Ernakulam|
|LoCo Ministries||Pr. Anu Jacob||Thiruvananthapuram|
|El-Shaddai Ministry||Pr. Tinu George||Kottarakara|
|Jesus Lives Church||Pr. Benz P Mammen||Mavelikkara|
|Grace Community Global||Pr. Sajith Joseph||Changanassery|
|Immanuel Pentecostal Assembly||Pr. Daniel Libny||Thiruvananthapuram|
|Immanuel Gospel Mission (Prayer Mount)||Pr. V. Dixon||Thiruvananthapuram|
|Freedom Media Ministires||Pr. Biju Philip||Thiruvananthapuram|
|The Covenant People||Pr. Jose Anathanam||Kanjirapally|
|Lovefeast Church||Pr.Jefferrey Abraham||Ernakulam|
|Christian Fellowship Church||Pr. Raju Ebenezer||Kottayam|
|Petra Fellowship||Pr. Robert Noronha||Ernakulam|
Not Wearing Ornaments
In Kerala many Traditional Pentecostal denominations do not wear ornaments depending upon the denomination they are part of. Many traditional Mainstream churches even to this day do not allow ornament wearing believers to partake in holy communion as well as water baptism. When the Pentecostal fathers came to the Christian faith, many of them came from influential and high caste families who threatened to strip them of their inheritance and wealth for stepping out of their religious systems to embrace a new faith. The cultural situation of the time when the early church came to faith and received the gift of Holy Spirit could have influenced a lot of practices around renouncing ornaments even though many forefathers were inspired to give up ornaments and lead a simple life. Social status at that time was determined by the amount of Gold and Silver ornaments one wore. In marriages, a part of dowry was given as gold ornaments. The weight of gold ornaments would determine the status of the family in the society at that time. Those who were rich used to wear a lot of gold ornaments. Those who were poor, used to wear ornaments made of glass, plastic or stone beads. In marriage and other occasions gold and silver ornaments were given as gifts. The church fathers also noticed that the income background distinction inside the church was hindering fellowship between the non-ornament wearing lower income believers and the ornament wearing higher income believers. Hence, in an effort to remove the barrier within the church and also to make it easy for new believers from both high and low income backgrounds, the church fathers came up with the system of giving up their ornaments/ jewelry when a person got saved and baptized. The intention was to unite the body of Christ, remove discrimination and act as a sign for outsiders of their consecration. Most of the Independent churches in Kerala do not have a practice of removing ornaments. At the turn of the century, more and more traditional churches are moving away from the practice of mandating compulsory removal of ornaments and classifying it as a personal choice of believers. And some people also don't grow mustache and beard.
Pentecostal Institutions in Kerala
List of some main institutions are :-
- MT Zion Bible Seminary,Mulakuzha
- Faith Theological Seminary
- Bethel Bible College
- Sharon Bible College
- India Bible College & Seminary
- Doulos Theological College
- Calicut Theological College
- Light for India Bible College
- Bethesda Bible College
- Harvest Theological College
- Mahaniyam Bible College
- Berachah Bible College
- Mizpah Bible College
Media plays a leading role to spread Pentecostalism in Kerala through Television Channels, Radio Channels and Newspapers.
Pentecost TV Channels in Kerala
There are large number of FM radio channels available in internet. And some FM channels also available through mobile applications.
- Bafa Radio
- My Worship Radio
- Jesus Coming FM
- Psalms Radio
- Manna Live Bible
- Heavenly Radio
- Radio Holy Family
- Swargasudha FM
- Living Voice Online
- Heavenly Beats Radio
- Radio Manna
- Malayalam Worship Radio
- Sehion Radio
- MGM Radio
- Gloria Radio
- Worldtoworld Radio
- Bethel Rhema Radio
- Believers Journal
- Sworgeeya Dwoni
- Good News
- Maranatha voice
- Zion Kahalam
- Jeeva mozhi
Resistance of Pentecost in Kerala
The US-based persecution watchdog International Christian Concern (ICC) has learned some attacks on Christians in Kerala, generally considered a safe-haven for Christians because of the large Christian minority there. The ICC warned that the Kerala attacks would only embolden anti-Christian extremists elsewhere to attack the even more vulnerable Christians in their states.
The Vishwa Hindu Parishad along with the Arya Samaj arranged the Ghar Wapsi Program and converted a few number of Christians to Hinduism in Kerala. Because Dalit Christians had belonged to SC/ST communities before conversion to Christianity, but they are denied the government's SC/ST benefits in education and job reservation. The Supreme Court ruled that a person who reconverts from Christianity to Hinduism shall be entitled to reservation benefits if his forefathers belonged to a Scheduled Caste and the community accepts him after reconversion.
- Christianity in Kerala
- Christian mythology
- History of Pentecostalism in India
- The Pentecostal Mission
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