THE CHRISTIANITY in INDIA PORTAL
Christianity is India's third most followed religion according to the census of 2011, with approximately 28 million followers, constituting 2.3 percent of India's population. It is traditionally believed that Christianity was introduced to India by Thomas the Apostle, who supposedly landed in Kerala in 52 AD. There is a general scholarly consensus that Christianity was established in India by the 6th century AD, including some communities who used Syriac liturgies. It is possible that the religion's existence extends as far back as the purported time of St. Thomas's arrival.
Christians are found all across India and in all walks of life, with major populations in parts of South India and the south shore, the Konkan Coast, and Northeast India. Indian Christians have contributed significantly to and are well represented in various spheres of national life. They include former and current chief ministers, governors and chief election commissioners. Indian Christians have the highest ratio of women to men among the various religious communities in India. Christians are the second most educated religious group in India after Jains.
Christianity in India is made up of people from different denominations. The state of Kerala is home to the Saint Thomas Christian community, an ancient body of Christians, who are divided into several different churches and traditions. They are East Syriac Saint Thomas Christian churches: the Syro-Malabar Catholic Church and the Chaldean Syrian Church. The Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church, Malankara Jacobite Syrian Church, Mar Thoma Syrian Church, Syro-Malankara Catholic Church, and the Malabar Independent Syrian Church are West Syriac Saint Thomas Christian Churches. Since the 19th century Protestant churches have also been present; major denominations include The Pentecostal Mission (formerly Ceylon Pentecostal Mission), the Baptists, Church of South India (CSI), Evangelical Church of India (ECI), St. Thomas Evangelical Church of India, Believers Eastern Church, the Church of North India (CNI), the Presbyterian Church of India, Pentecostal Church, Apostolics, Lutherans, Traditional Anglicans and other evangelical groups. The Christian Church runs thousands of educational institutions and hospitals which have contributed significantly to the development of the nation.
is the Christian
church believed to be started by St. Thomas
, the apostle
of Jesus Christ
. Maliankara, a place near Muziris
, (now known as Pattanam
, near Cochin
on the Malabar Coast
), where Thomas the Apostle
first landed in Kerala
in AD 52, was the headquarters of the Indian Christian church
from the 1st century AD. It is also known as Church of Malabar
or Malabar Church
. Hence the Christians here are known as Malankara Nazarenes
, Saint Thomas Christians
, Malabar Christians
and Malankara Christians
. The history of Indian Christianity
hence started 15 centuries even before the arrival of European missionaries
According to tradition, it was on a trading vessel plying between Alexandria and the Malabar Coast that St. Thomas the Apostle arrived in Kodungallur or Cranganore (കൊടുങ്ങല്ലൂര്)in AD 52. Modern developments in archaeology, anthropology, numismatics, toponymy, geography and trade route investigations have revealed evidence of the trading which forms the background to the St. Thomas tradition of Kerala. Maliankara was the headquarters of the Church of Malabar from the 1st century. (Malankara is cognate of Maliankara) and hence the church was known as the Malankara Church.
(August 26, 1910 – September 5, 1997) was an Albanian Roman Catholic nun
who founded the Missionaries of Charity
, in 1950. For over forty years she ministered to the poor, sick, orphaned, and dying, while guiding the Missionaries of Charity's expansion, first throughout India and then in other countries.
By the 1970s she had become internationally famed as a humanitarian and advocate for the poor and helpless, due in part to a documentary, and book, Something Beautiful for God by Malcolm Muggeridge. She won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979 for her humanitarian work. Mother Teresa's Missionaries of Charity continued to expand, and at the time of her death it was operating 610 missions in 123 countries, including hospices and homes for people with HIV/AIDS, leprosy and tuberculosis, soup kitchens, children's and family counseling programs, orphanages, and schools.
Following her death she was beatified by Pope John Paul II and given the title Blessed Teresa of Calcutta.
Saint Thomas Christians or Syrian Christians of Kerala in ancient days (from an old painting). Photo published in the Cochin Government Royal War Efforts Souvenir in 1938
Percentage Christian population, India census 2011
General Lord Cornwallis, receiving two of Tipu Sultan's sons as hostages in the year 1793.
Altar of the St. Mary's Church in Kottayam; also can be seen are two Saint Thomas Crosses from the 7th century on either side; The church was originally built in 1550
William Carey, 1761-1834.
Pesaha Appam is an unleavened Passover bread made by the Saint Thomas Christians of Kerala to be served on Passover night
Distribution of Christian population in different Indian states
The renovated Mar Thoma Syro-Malabar Catholic Church, Kodungaloor; the first Christian church in India, built 52 A. D.
A dungeon at Seringapatam. Those Christians who refused to embrace Islam were imprisoned in such dungeons.
Infant Jesus Church, Mysore, India.
A traditional Malankara Church - Vadayaparambu Mar Bahanans Church
Portuguese-Tamil Primer (1554). One of the earliest known Christian books in an Indian language
The British officer James Scurry, who was detained a prisoner for 10 years by Tipu Sultan along with the Mangalorean Catholics
The Jamalabad fort route. Mangalorean Catholics had travelled through this route on their way to Seringapatam
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