skip to main | skip to sidebar
Home » » Who is Syrian Christian in Kerala?

Resident in the south-western state of Kerala, the Syrian-Christian community, one of India’s smallest religious minorities, dates its origins to 52 CE, when the apostle St. Thomas allegedly arrived in India near the port of Cranganore, converted a number of Hindu and Jewish families and founded seven churches along the Malabar coast. According to a legend, St. Thomas’s first Hindu converts were thirty-two brahmin families, the highest rank in the Hindu social hierarchy of the caste system, who retained certain social privileges, even though they had changed their faith. The organized suppression of the Syrian-Christian faith by the Catholic Portuguese started in the mid-sixteenth century after Portugal had gained a territorial foothold in the subcontinent at Goa. Under Roman Catholicism, many Syrian Christians became increasingly frustrated by their lack of freedom, and in 1653 they rebelled against the Pope, reaffirming their allegiance to the Eastern Church and swearing an oath in which they pledged to expel the Portuguese. In short, there was a blend of the ‘two worlds’, the church and wider Indian society in which the Syrian Christians lived ‘with no consciousness of tension between them or disharmony within themselves’. Arundhati Roy’s novel The God of Small Things deals with this smallest religious community, the Syrian Christians.

Syrian Christian in Kerala


Post a Comment

Back To Top