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Christmas, Carols And Unique Indian Christianity


There are eight Christian community-run medical colleges apart from 600 Catholic nuns trained as medical doctors serving in rural areas of the country.

The community-run educational institutions claim to have produced many scientific and technological luminaries, besides producing a host of civil servants, entrepreneurs and political leaders, including India's first citizen, President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam.

It's a story that goes way back in time.

Christianity came to India in 52 AD, long before it travelled to many of the west European Christian countries. The religion is believed to have been introduced by St. Thomas, a carpenter by profession and an apostle of Jesus Christ.

Although it reached in the first century, the community confined itself largely to India's southern coastal areas, mainly in Kerala, for almost 1,500 years. It spread to other parts like Goa and the northeast, particularly Mizoram - now a Christian majority state - after the arrival of the Portuguese in India in the 15th century, followed by the French and the British.

'It is absolutely wrong to confuse Indian Christianity with colonial rule. When St. Thomas came here there was no colonialism,' Kakkanattu told IANS.

'In fact, missionary activity, which was already there when the Portuguese and the British came, helped in mobilising general opinion against foreign rule,' said Kakkanattu, the priest from the southern state that has a heavy Christian population.

Sociologists are in fact of the view that Christians in India represented active de-colonisation as well.

'I think the religion represents de-colonisation also. Personalities like Mother Teresa proved that it was no longer the religion of oppressors or conquerors,' said Ananth Pathak, a sociologist at Jawaharlal Nehru University.

It is believed that the modern Indian renaissance began from West Bengal largely under the influence of Chr
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