Brief History of the Church

The visible Church consists of the organized believers in Christ, and the followers of His life. The Church has been saved from total error and downfall by Divine intervention. Without the descent of the Spirit, at Pentecost, there would have been no impulsive Power in Christianity. Afterwards, the practical life of Christians was at once simple and beautiful. There were both Simplicity and Faith and the intense brotherly love which had their practical demonstration. To crown all these, was a fervor in communicating the Gospel, which knew no bounds. Pentecost was the practical Divine Testimony to the universal adoption of the Gospel. It was a divine endorsement of the command to the disciple to preach and teach the Word of God and baptize the believers throughout the world and it instilled power in the disciples. So the followers of Christ were called as Christians at Antioch.

Peter represented the Jewish type of Christianity, the Jerusalem Council and Paul removed all Jewish Ceremonials as conditions to enter into the Church, and hence Jews and Gentiles became Christians on precisely on the same terms- Faith and Belief. The missionary tours and the Epistles had a remarkable impact on the growth of the Church. There was formidable opposition from the Orthodox Jews and the Roman Emperors. Persecution prevailed from AD-64 to Ad 313, till Constantine granted an Edict of tolerance to the Christians. Christianity had conquered in the realm of Political life. It was now safe from the hands of the Roman Empire. As the hostility between the Jews and Christians worsened, the services were conducted at houses instead of temples on the Sabbath day and on Sundays also as a memory of Christ’s resurrection.

The Christians belonged to no nation and no state, the fatherland in heaven was to them a reality and the love of the brothers in truth and in words made the Christian congregation the fore-shadowing of a Christian common wealth and a model for all ages to come.

Christianity in India

Christianity in India is the third largest religion with approximately 24 million followers. St. Thomas visited Muzirio in Kerala during 52AD to spread the Gospel amongst Kerala’s Jewish settlement. Christianity was rooted in India by 6th century AD. The year 1320 marked the arrival of Catholicism when Dominican missionary Jordamon Catalani arrived in Surat. The arrival of Lutheran missionaries in the Danish settlement of Tranquebar (Tamil Nadu) marked the beginning of Protestantism in India.

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