A brief history of Christianity in India: by John Prabhudoss
Many people think, Christianity was brought to the erstwhile kingdoms of the Indian Subcontinent by European missionaries. The truth is far from it. Christianity which was practiced in erstwhile kingdoms of the Indian Subcontinent is as old as the Faith itself.
Christianity was first introduced in the Subcontinent by Christ’s own Apostle - the ‘doubting’ Thomas.
Thomas initially visited Northwestern parts of the Subcontinent in the years between 46 AD and 49 AD.
Besides Thomas, another Apostle of Christ, Bartholomew also visited Northwestern kingdoms of the Subcontinent establishing churches as far down South as the Port city of present day Mumbai.
Though there were many churches as far down south as modern day Mumbai, the concentration of those churches were found across the kingdoms of the northwest region and Indo-Persian region, including the territories of what is now known as Pakistan, Baluchistan (part of modern day Pakistan bordering modern day Iran) and Afghanistan.
Bartholomew and Thomas had traveled by land, from Mesopotamia of yester years, to the northern kingdoms of the Indian Subcontinent through present day Iran, Baluchistan and Pakistan - the same route through which Vedic Aryans came to the Indus Valley several hundred years earlier. Evidently this is the same route through which Alexander the Great entered the Indus Valley as well.
Though, Apostles Bartholomew and Thomas had both established communities of Christian believers in the northern kingdoms of the Indian Subcontinent, Thomas has come to be known as the ‘Apostle to India’, because the mission in the Indian Subcontinent became the primary focus for Thomas for the rest of his natural life. Thomas finally died as a martyr, pierced to death, in Mylapore of Thamilagam, near modern-day city of Chennai, India, in 72 AD, almost 26 years after his first arrival in the Indian Subcontinent.
The way Thomas came about to the Indian Subcontinent in itself is an interesting history.
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