Classification Essay On Church Goers In 1850S

Saint Thomas Christian cross

Total population
27,819,588 (2011)[1]
Regions with significant populations
Majority in Nagaland at 90%, Mizoram at 88% and Meghalaya at 83.3%. Plural majority in Manipur at 41.3% and Arunachal Pradesh at 30.3%. Significant populations in Goa at 25%, Kerala at 18.4%, Tamil Nadu at 6.2%, Jharkhand at 4.3%, Odisha at 2.76%, Andhra Pradesh at 1.38% and West Bengal at 1%.
Languages
Malayalam, Tamil, Telugu, Konkani, Kannada, Bengali, English, Hindi and various Indian languages
Religion
Roman Catholic (Latin Rite), Saint Thomas Christians, (East Syriac Rite / West Syriac Rite) and various denominations of Protestants like Church of South India, Evangelical Church of India, Lutheran Churches, Pentecosts and Apostolics
Related ethnic groups
Nasranis, Knanaya, East Indians, Khasis, Mizos, Kukis, Nagas, Anglo-Indians, Goan Catholics, Mangalorean Catholics, Garo people, Pnar people
Part of a series on
Christianity in India

Denominations

Brahmavar Orthodox Church, Malankara Jacobite Syrian Orthodox Church, Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church

Chaldean Syrian, Malankara Church

Mar Thoma Syrian, Malabar Independent Syrian Church

Andhra Evangelical Lutheran, Assemblies Jehovah Shammah, Christian Revival Church, Church of North India, Church of South India, Garo Baptist, Indian Brethren, Indian Pentecostal Church of God, Church of God (Full Gospel), North Bank Baptist Christian, Northern Evangelical Lutheran

Indian Christianity 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.[2] It is traditionally believed that Christianity was introduced to India by Thomas the Apostle, who supposedly landed in Kerala in 52 CE. There is a general scholarly consensus that Christianity was definitely established in India by the 6th century CE. [3] including some communities who used Syriac liturgies, and it is possible that the religion's existence extends as far back as the purported time of St.Thomas's arrival.[n 1]

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.[5][6] Indian Christians have the highest ratio of women to men among the various religious communities in India.[7][8] Christians are the second most educated religious group in India after Jains.[9]

Christianity in India has different denominations. The state of Kerala is home to the Saint Thomas Christian community, an ancient body of Christians, who are now divided into several different churches and traditions. They are East SyriacSaint Thomas Christian churches: the Syro-Malabar Catholic Church and the Chaldean Syrian Church. The Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church, Malankara Jacobite Syrian Church, Syro-Malankara Catholic Church, Mar Thoma Syrian Church and the Malabar Independent Syrian Church are West SyriacSaint Thomas Christian Churches. Since the 19th century Protestant churches have also been present; major denominations include the Church of South India (CSI), Evangelical Church of India (ECI), St. Thomas Evangelical Church of India, the Church of North India (CNI), the Presbyterian Church of India, Pentecostal Church, Apostolics, Baptists, 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.

Roman Catholicism was first introduced to India by Portuguese, Italian and IrishJesuits in the 16th century to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ among Indians. Most Christian schools, hospitals, primary care centres originated through the Roman Catholic missions brought by the trade of these countries. Evangelical Protestantism was later spread to India by the efforts of British, American, German, Scottish missionaries. These Protestant missions were also responsible for introducing English education in India for the first time[11] and were also accountable in the first early translations of the Holy Bible in various Indian languages (including Tamil, Malayalam, Telugu, Hindi, Urdu and others).[12]

Even though Christians are a significant minority, they form a major religious group in three states of India - Meghalaya, Mizoram, and Nagaland with plural majority in Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh and other states with significant Christian population include Tamil Nadu and Kerala. Christianity is widespread across India and is present in all states with major populations in South India.

Early Christianity in India[edit]

St. Bartholomew[edit]

Main article: Saint Bartholomew

Two ancient testimonies exist about the mission of Saint Bartholomew in India. These are of Eusebius of Caesarea (early 4th century) and of Saint Jerome (late 4th century). Both these refer to this tradition while speaking of the reported visit of Pantaenus to India in the 2nd century.[13] The studies of Fr A.C. Perumalil SJ and Moraes hold that the Bombay region on the Konkan coast, a region which may have been known as the ancient city Kalyan, was the field of Saint Bartholomew's missionary activities.[14]

St. Thomas[edit]

Main article: Saint Thomas Christians

According to Indian Christian traditions, the Apostle Thomas arrived in Tamilakam presently in the Indian state of Kerala KodungallurKerala, established the Seven Churches and evangelised in present-day Kerala and Tamil Nadu.[16][17]

As with early Christianity in the Roman Empire, it is assumed that the initial converts were largely Jewish proselytes among the Cochin Jews who are believed to have arrived in India around 562 BCE, after the destruction of the First Temple.[18][19][20] Many of these Jews presumably spoke Aramaic like St. Thomas, also a Jew by birth, who is credited by tradition with evangelising India.[n 2]

A historically more likely claim by Eusebius of Caesarea is that Pantaenus, the head of the Christian exegetical school in Alexandria, Egypt went to India during the reign of the Emperor Commodus and found Christians already living in India using a version of the Gospel of Matthew with "Hebrew letters, a mixture of culture."[22] This is a plausible reference to the earliest Indian churches which are known to have used the Syriac (a dialect of Aramaic) New Testament. Pantaenus' evidence thus indicates that Syriac-speaking Christians had already evangelised parts of India by the late 2nd century.

An early 3rd-century Syriac work known as the Acts of Thomas[23][24] connects the tradition of the apostle Thomas' Indian ministry with two kings, one in the north and the other in the south. The year of his arrival is widely disputed due to lack of credible records.[25] According to one of the legends in the Acts, Thomas was at first reluctant to accept this mission but Jesus over-ruled the stubborn disciple by ordering circumstances so compelling that he was forced to accompany an Indian merchant, Abbanes, to his native place in northwest India, where he found himself in the service of the Indo-Parthian king, Gondophares. The apostle's ministry reputedly resulted in many conversions throughout this northern kingdom, including the king and his brother.[23] The Acts of Thomas identifies his second mission in India with a kingdom ruled by King Mahadwa, one of the rulers of a 1st-century dynasty in southern India. According to the tradition of the Mar Thoma or "Church of Thomas," Thomas evangelised along the Malabar Coast of Kerala State in southwest India, though the various churches he founded were located mainly on the Periyar River and its tributaries and along the coast, where there were Jewish colonies. He reputedly preached to all classes of people and had about seventeen thousand converts, including members of the four principal castes. According to legend, St. Thomas attained martyrdom at St. Thomas Mount in Chennai and is buried on the site of San Thome Cathedral.[26]

India's oldest church, claimed to be the world's oldest existing church structure and built by Thomas the Apostle in 57 CE,[27] called Thiruvithamcode Arappally or ThomaiyarKovil as named by the then Chera king Udayancheral,[27] is located at Thiruvithancode in Kanyakumari District of Tamil Nadu, India. It is now declared an international St. Thomas pilgrim center.

Although little is known of the immediate growth of the church, Bar-Daisan (AD 154–223) reports that in his time there were Christian tribes in North India which claimed to have been converted by Thomas and to have books and relics to prove it.[23] Certainly by the time of the establishment of the Sassanid Empire (AD 226), there were bishops of the Church of the East in northwest India, Afghanistan and Baluchistan, with laymen and clergy alike engaging in missionary activity.[23]

4th century missions[edit]

India had a flourishing trade with Central Asia, Mediterranean, and Middle East, both along mountain passes in the north and sea routes along the western and southern coast, well before the start of Christian era, and it is likely that Christian merchants settled in Indian cities along trading routes.[28]

The Chronicle of Seert describes an evangelical mission to India by Bishop David of Basra around the year 300;[29] this metropolitan reportedly made many conversions,[30] and it has been speculated that his mission took in areas of southern India.[31]

The colony of Syrian Christians established at Kodungallur may be the first Christian community in South India for which there is a continuous written record.[32] T.R. Vedantham showing his own perspective on Christianity was the first to propose in 1987 that Thomas of Cana was confused with the 1st century apostle Thomas by India's Syrian Christians sometime after his death, becoming their Apostle Thomas in India.[33]

Medieval period[edit]

The Saint Thomas Christian community was further strengthened by various Persian immigrant settlers, the Knanaya colonies of the 4th century, Manichaeanism followers, Babylonian Christians settlers of the 4th century CE, the Syrian settlements of Mar Sabor Easo and Proth in the 9th century CE and the immigrant Persian Christians from successive centuries.

Local rulers in Kerala gave the St. Thomas Christians various rights and privileges which were written on copper plates. These are known as Cheppeds, Royal Grants, Sasanam etc.[34] There are a number of such documents in the possession of the Syrian churches of Kerala which include the Thazhekad Sasanam, the Quilon Plates (or the Tharisappalli Cheppeds), Mampally Sasanam and Iraviikothan Chepped etc. Some of these plates are said to be dated around 774 CE. Scholars have studied the inscriptions and produced varying translations. The language used is Tamil in Tamil letters intermingled with some Grantha script and Pahlavi, Kufic and Hebrew signatures.

The ruler of Venad (Travancore) granted the Syrian Christians seventy two rights and privileges which were usually granted only to high dignitaries. These rights included exemption from import duties, sales tax and the slave tax. A copper plate grant dated 1225 CE further enhanced the rights and privileges of Nasranis.

The South Indian epic of Manimekalai (written between 2nd and 3rd century AD) mentions the Nasrani people by referring to them by the name Essanis. The embassy of King Alfred in 883 CE sent presents to St. Thomas Christians.[35]Marco Polo who visited in 1292, mentioned that there were Christians in the Malabar coast.[36] The Saint Thomas Christians still use the Syriac language (a dialect of Aramaic, which is also the language that Jesus spoke[37]) in their liturgy. This group, which existed in Kerala relatively peacefully for more than a millennium, faced considerable persecution from Portuguese evangelists in the 16th century.[39] This later wave of evangelism spread Catholicism more widely along the Konkan coast.[40][41]

Modern period[edit]

Since the 1500s European Catholic and Protestant missionaries have been active in India.[42] In 1900-1914 churches in other countries, especially the United States, sponsored missions.[43] Outside Christian missions have been less active since 1914 as Indians themselves take action and Protestant groups have formed unions.[44]

Arrival of the Portuguese and Christianity[edit]

See also: Pearl Fishery Coast

The south Indian coastal areas around Kanyakumari were known for pearl fisheries ruled by Paravars. From 1527 the Paravars were being threatened by Arab fleets offshore, headed by the Muslim supporting Zamorin of Calicut,. The Paravars sought the protection of Portuguese who had moved into the area. The protection was granted on the condition that the leaders were immediately baptised as Christians and that they would encourage their people also to convert to Christianity; the Portuguese would also gain a strategic foothold and control of the pearl fisheries. The deal was agreed and some months later 20,000 Paravars were baptised en masse, and by 1537 the entire community had declared itself to be Christian. The Portuguese navy destroyed the Arab fleet at Vedalai on 27 June 1538.

Francis Xavier, a Jesuit, in 1542 began a mission to the lower classes of Tamil society. A further 30,000 Paravars were baptised. Xavier appointed catechists in the Paravar villages up and down the 100 miles (160 km) of coastline to spread and reinforce his teachings.[48] Conversion enabled low-caste Indians to participate more significantly in religious ceremonies than was the case when they were Hindus, this being because their "unclean" occupations (that is, the taking of life) would have prevented any central contribution in Hindu religious ritual. Paravar Christianity, with its own identity based on a mixture of Christian religious belief and Hindu caste culture, remains a defining part of the Paravar life today.[49]

Arrival of the Roman Catholic Latin Rites[edit]

The French or Catalan Dominican missionary Jordanus Catalani was the first European to start conversion in India. He arrived in Surat in 1320. After his ministry in Gujarat he reached Quilon in 1323. He not only revived Christianity but also brought thousands to the Christian fold. He brought a message of good will from the Pope to the local rulers. In 1329 Pope John XXII, from the Holy See then in Avignon (France), erected Quilon as the first Diocese in the whole of Indies as suffragan to the Archdiocese of Sultany in Persia through the decree '"Romanus Pontifex"' dated 9 August 1329 . By a separate bull, tah goes "Venerabili Fratri Jordano", the same Pope, on 21 August 1329 appointed the French or Catalan Dominican friar "Jordanus Catalani" as the first Bishop of Quilon.[50] As the first bishop in India, Jordanus was also entrusted with the spiritual nourishment of the Christian community in Calicut, Mangalore, Thane and Broach (north of Thane).[51]

In 1453, the fall of Constantinople, a bastion of Christianity in Asia Minor to Islamic Ottoman Empire; marked the end of the Eastern Roman Empire or Byzantine Empire, and severed European trade links by land with Asia. This massive blow to Christendom spurred the age of discovery as Europeans were seeking alternative routes east by sea along with the goal of forging alliances with pre-existing Christian nations.[52][53] Along with pioneer Portuguese long-distance maritime travellers that reached the Malabar Coast in the late 15th century, came Portuguese missionaries who made contact with the St Thomas Christians in Kerala, which at that time were following Eastern Christian practices and under the jurisdiction of Church of the East. The missionaries sought to introduce the Latin liturgical rites among them and unify East Syriac Christians in India under the Holy See.

In the 16th century, the proselytisation of Asia was linked to the Portuguese colonial policy.

The missionaries of the different orders (Franciscans, Dominicans, Jesuits, Augustinians, etc.) flocked out with the conquerors, and began at once to build churches along the coastal districts where the Portuguese power made itself felt.

The history of Portuguese missionaries in India starts with the neo-apostles who reached Kappad near Kozhikode on 20 May 1498 along with the Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama who was seeking to form anti-Islamic alliances with pre-existing Christian nations.[54][55] The lucrative spice trade was further temptation for the Portuguese crown.[56] When he and the Portuguese missionaries arrived they found Christians in the country in Malabar known as St. Thomas Christians who belonged to the then-largest Christian church within India.[55] The Christians were friendly to Portuguese missionaries at first; there was an exchange of gifts between them, and these groups were delighted at their common faith.[57]

During the second expedition, the Portuguese fleet comprising 13 ships and 18 priests, under Captain Pedro Álvares Cabral, anchored at Cochin on 26 November 1500. Cabral soon won the goodwill of the Raja of Cochin. He allowed four priests to do apostolic work among the early Christian communities scattered in and around Cochin. Thus Portuguese missionaries established Portuguese Mission in 1500. Dom Francisco de Almeida, the first Portuguese Viceroy got permission from the Kochi Raja to build two churches – namely Santa Cruz Basilica (1505) and St. Francis Church (1506) using stones and mortar, which was unheard of at that time, as the local prejudices were against such a structure for any purpose other than a royal palace or a temple.[citation needed]

In the beginning of the 16th century, the whole of the east was under the jurisdiction of the Archdiocese of Lisbon. On 12 June 1514, Cochin and Goa became two prominent mission stations under the newly created Diocese of Funchal in Madeira. In 1534, Pope Paul III by the Bull Quequem Reputamus, raised Funchal as an archdiocese and Goa as its suffragan, deputing the whole of India under the diocese of Goa. This created an episcopal see – suffragan to Funchal, with a jurisdiction extending potentially over all past and future conquests from the Cape of Good Hope to China.

After four decades of prosperous trading, the missionaries started the proselytisation around 1540 and during this period, foreign missionaries also made many new converts to Christianity. Early Roman Catholic missionaries, particularly the Portuguese, led by the JesuitStFrancis Xavier (1506–1552), expanded from their bases on the west coast making many converts. The Portuguese colonial government supported the mission and the baptised Christians were given incentives like rice donations, good positions in their colonies. Hence, these Christians were dubbed Rice Christians who even practised their old religion. At the same time many New Christians from Portugal migrated to India as a result of the inquisition in Portugal. Many of them were suspected of being Crypto-Jews, converted Jews who were secretly practising their old religion. Both were considered a threat to the solidarity of Christian belief.[58] which is considered a blot on the history of Roman Catholic Christianity in India, both by Christians and non-Christians alike.

In 1557, Goa was made an independent archbishopric, and its first suffragan sees were erected at Cochin and Malacca. The whole of the East came under the jurisdiction of Goa and its boundaries extended to almost half of the world: from the Cape of Good Hope in South Africa, to Burma, China and Japan in East Asia. In 1576 the suffragan See of Macao (China) was added; and in 1588, that of Funai in Japan.

The death of the last metropolitan bishop – Archbishop Abraham of the Saint Thomas Christians, an ancient body formerly part of the Church of the East[60] in 1597; gave the then Archbishop of Goa Menezes an opportunity to bring the native church under the authority of the Roman Catholic Church. He was able to secure the submission of Archdeacon George, the highest remaining representative of the native church hierarchy. Menezes convened the Synod of Diamper between 20 and 26 June 1599,[61] which introduced a number of reforms to the church and brought it fully into the Latin Rite of the Catholic Church. Following the Synod, Menezes consecrated Francis Ros, S. J. as Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Angamalé for the Saint Thomas Christians; thus created another suffragan see to Archdiocese of Goa and Latinisation of St Thomas Christians started. The Saint Thomas Christians were pressured to acknowledge the authority of the Pope and most of them eventually accepted the Catholic faith, but a part of them switched to West Syriac Rite.[61] Resentment of these measures led to some part of the community to join the Archdeacon, Thomas, in swearing never to submit to the Portuguese or to accept the Communion with Rome in the Coonan Cross Oath in 1653. Those who accepted the West Syriac theological and liturgical tradition of Mar Gregorios became known as Jacobites. The ones who continued with East Syriac and Latin theological and liturgical tradition and stayed faithful to the Synod of Diamper and the Roman Catholic Church came to be formally known as the Syro-Malabar Catholic Church from the second half of the 19th century onward.

The Diocese of Angamaly

Infant Jesus Church, Mysore, India.
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
The renovated Mar Thoma Syro-Malabar Catholic Church, Kodungaloor; the first Christian church in India, built 52 A. D.
Portuguese-Tamil Primer (1554). One of the earliest known Christian books in an Indian language

Three Types Of Churchgoers Essay

Age and Life Experiences Product Three Types of Churchgoers
The religious fanfare in America is overwhelmingly Christian. There appears to be a major increase of interest in spirituality. However, there is a vast difference in the devoutness of churchgoers in frequency of church attendance. The manner in which these individuals attend church is influenced by their ages and also whether or not they have endured difficult life situations. After attending a few church services, one becomes very aware of the various types of attendees. There are three types of churchgoer categories: the Never- Miss-a-Service Churchgoers, the Show-Up for Sunday Morning Service Churchgoers, and lastly, but certainly not the least, Holiday Churchgoers.
The first group in these categories is the Never-Miss-a-Service Christians. They consider themselves the bedrock of the Christian faith. Their lives are centered on following Jesus Christ. Furthermore, it is unacceptable to just attend the typical Sunday morning and evening services. This group is involved in every aspect of church functions.
For example, on Sunday morning they get to church in time for Sunday school and are part of the praise and worship. They are the first to greet newcomers to the church and handle the prayer requests. For them, the middle of the week service, which is typically held on Wednesday, is just as important as Sunday morning services. If there is a revival scheduled for everyday of the week, they are in attendance. These individuals consistently donate ten percent of their incomes to their churches: a practice known as tithing. Not paying tithes is not an option; tithes take priority over their bills and are paid out of any income they receive.
Individuals within the Never-Miss-a-Sunday group share similar lifestyles. Members are heterosexuals, because they would feel that homosexuality is an abomination to God. Usually, they are married and are likely parents themselves. They are very family orientated; only one member of the families work, which are the fathers, and the mothers are stay at home wives. For the males of the families, working and holding a job is of utmost importance to them. In most cases, they get along well with co-workers and their bosses.
Members of the Never-Miss-a-Sunday group come from families who have experienced hardships and who have focused on God in order to endure. They or their parents have lingering memories of War World II,...

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