History of Christianity in India

The works of scholars and Eastern Christian writings state that Christianity was introduced to India by Thomas the Apostle, who visited Muziris in Kerala in 52 CE to spread gospel amongst Kerala's Jewish settlements. It is generally agreed upon that Christianity in India is almost as old as Christianity itself and spread in India even before it spread to many predominantly Christian nations of Europe.

According to Indian Christian traditions, the apostle Thomas arrived in Kodungallur (also Muziris), Kerala, established the Seven Churches and evangelized in present day Kerala and Tamil Nadu. 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 BC, after the destruction of the First Temple.  Many of these Jews presumably spoke Aramaic like St. Thomas, also a Jew by birth, who is credited by tradition with evangelizing India.

Today Christians are found all across India and in all walks of life, with major populations in parts of South India, the Konkan Coast and the North-East. Indian Christians have contributed significantly to the development of those states and are well represented in various spheres of national life in various fields of science,technology, medicine, economy, humanities, civil service, politics and business. They include former and current chief ministers, governors and chief election commissioners. Indian Christians also have the highest literacy, work participation and sex ratio figures among the various religious communities in India.


1. Medlycott, A E. 1905 "India and the Apostle Thomas"; Gorgias Press LLC; ISBN
2. Thomas Puthiakunnel, (1973) "Jewish colonies of India paved the way for St. Thomas", The Saint Thomas Christian Encyclopedia of India, ed. George Menachery, Vol. II.


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