Population Statistics and Demography of Saint Thomas Christians, Churches with historical references

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Population Statistics and Demography of Saint Thomas Christians, Churches with historical references

Saint Thomas Christians Statistical details
Saint Thomas Christians Statistical details

This article analyze the Population statistics and demography of Saint Thomas Christians with historical references. There are few statements about the Population statistics of the Saint Thomas Christian community from the beginning of sixteenth century onwards and about each of the individual churches before and after the respective division.

Until the middle of seventeenth century all the Nasranis were one rite and one Church. The first part of this article make a note of the available statements about Population statistics in the undivided Church of Saint Thomas Christians. This is followed by the statistics in Seventeenth and Eighteenth century among the Catholics ( Syro Malabar) and the Syriac Orthodox ( Jacobites & Orthodox). The other groups which are formed in later centuries are also discussed.

The Population statistics of the earlier centuries are not based on extensive survey and this together with the number of Churches will give a fair idea about each Church and the demography.

1. Historical Reference about Population of Saint Thomas Christians

1.1 The Undivided Church of Saint Thomas Christians

One of the earliest reference about population of Saint Thomas Christians is from the Chaldean prelate Mar Jacob. In 1504, the hierarchy of Church of Saint Thomas Christians consists of a Metropolitan and three suffragan Bishops. Mar Yahballaha (Jaballaha) was the metropolitan and Mar Denah, Mar Jacob and Mar John were the Bishops. In 1504, they send a letter to the Patriarch, and it is mentioned that there were some 30,000 families under their care spread around some twenty towns and a great number of villages. (( Mundadan- ” Saint Thomas Christians under Mar Jacob 1498-1552″ ))

Until the middle of sixteenth century, there are multiple statements about population in Cranganore, Quilon etc from Portuguese missionaries such as Thome Lopes (1502), Barros ( 1502), Goes, Empoli, Mathew Diaz ( 1550) etc. According to Antonio de Gouvea ( Jornada) there were some 75,000 warriors in the community. Fr. Dionysio, the rector of the Jesuit college at Cochin, mentions in 1578, that the Thomas Christians numbered about 80,000. (( Documenta Indica, XI, p.140 ))

Fr. Valignano mentions that they were as many as 100,000. In 1583, he wrote that they were more than 100.000. (( Documenta Indica, XIII, p.431 ))

According to the letters send by Archdeacon George de Cruce, to Rome in 1629, there were 250,000 Syrians in Malabar with 100 priests and clerics divided among 120 churches. ( Letter dated 1st Jan 1629. Another letter of 4th Jan 1534). Archdeacon Thomas Parampil, in his letters to Pope and to the Cardinals of Propaganda, claimed that the Thomas Christians were more than 200,000. (( Archive- APF,SOCG, Vol.191, fos.535.537 ))

Bishop Sebastiani ( first Latin Vicar Apostolic of Malabar), also in his report to Propaganda, gave the same number as given by the Archdeacon Thomas Parampil. Fr. Franics Barreto SJ, wrote in 1645, that the Thomas Christians were about 150,000. (( Archive- APF, SOCG, Vol.233,fos 457v-8, Joseph Thekkedath – “ History of Christianity in India . Volume II ))

1.2 Statistics after the Coonan Cross Oath

In the middle of Seventeenth century, followed with the Syond of Diamper ( 1599) and Coonan Cross Oath ( 1653), and subsequent happenings (1653-1665), the united Church of Saint Thomas Christians was gradually divided in to two: one with allegiance to Rome, the Catholics(Syro Malabar Church) and the other with allegiance to Syriac Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch, the Syriac Orthodox. Following are the available statistics after the Coonan Cross Oath.

a) Seventeenth Century

According to some documents, all the Thomas Christians except a few ( 400 or 500 or 4000) adhered to those who had taken the Coonan Cross Oath on Friday, January 3rd 1653. (( Placid Podipara- ” The Thomas Christians” ))

Rome send Carmelites and within a year of their arrival (1657), the Carmelites had succeeded in reconciling forty-four churches. Chandy Perambil (Alexander de Campo) who was a relative and councilor of Archdeacon Thomas headed the movement. The Carmelites by 1662 got around eighty-four churches, leaving only thirty-two churches to the Archdeacon Thomas who was ordained as Mar Thoma 1. The author doesn’t know how “partial control ” churches are included in this list. (( Catholic Encyclopedia- “St. Thomas Christians”- Carmelite Period ))

Based on this, these 84 Churches and their congregations where the body from which Syro Malabar Church have descended and the other 32 Churches and their congregation where the body from which Syriac Orthodox and their subdivisions Mar Thoma Church ( Reformed Syrians-1876 AD), Orthodox- Jacobite Split ( 1910-1912 AD), Syro Malankara Church ( 1930 AD) have descended. Chaldean Syrian Church ( from Catholics- 1874 AD) and Thoziyur Church ( from Syriac Orthodox- 1772 AD) has few members since there formation.

In 1663, the Dutch after defeating the Portuguese took control of Cochin and expelled the Carmelites from the country. The Carmelite Bishop Sebastiani had provided a list of eighty-four churches as under them to the Dutch Governor.

In an another report, which was send to Propaganda by two Carmelite missionaries in 1698 AD, mentions that Syrian Christians as a whole had 107 parish churches and four other churches which were not parishes, thus making a total of 111 Churches. Of these, 67 belonged to Catholics: 32 belongs to the Syriac Orthodox: and 12 were partly Catholic and partly Orthodox. (( APF, Congregationi Particolari, Vol.30,f.807 ))

b) Eighteenth Century

In 1702, according to the Carmelite Bishop Angelus Franicis there were under him, 114 Churches of Saint Thomas Christians ( full and partial control ) in addition to the churches of new converts. In this report, there is a clear demarcation between the new converts. (( Placid Podipara- “ The Thomas Christians” ))

According to the above report Syro Malabar Church had 114 Churches in 1702.

In a 1704, the Petition send by Mar Thomas IV to Holy See signed by himself and 12 leading priests is in the name of twenty- nine parishes under him. (( Placid Podipara- “ The Thomas Christians” ))

According to the above Petition in 1704, Mar Thomas IV claimed 29 churches under him in the Malankara Syriac Orthodox Church.

In 1704, a Jesuit was appointed as Bishop for the See of Cranganore by Pope. The Catholic Syrians refused to acknowledge the new archbishop and sent a petition to Rome that they preferred to remain under the Carmelites. In this petition they mentions that their were seventy-one churches in complete submission and eighteen in partial union (i.e., the parish was divided and part had submitted to Rome), while only twenty-eight churches remained altogether separate (with Syriac Orthodox).

In 1745, Raulin write that there were 15 Latin and 113 Syrian churches and out of which 30 are with Jacobites. According to Raulin 83 Churches are with Catholic Syrians (Pazhayacoor) and 30 churches with Jacobites (Puthencoor).

Anquetil du Perron ( 1758) and Paulinus of St. Bartholomew ( 1788) almost gives the same data on Population. The various information Paulinus gives are from 16th till 18th century in his six published and unpublished books.

According to Anquetil du Perron, in 1758 there were 84 Syrian Catholic parishes with 100000 Population. There were 20 Syriac Orthodox parishes with 50,000 Population. The number of Latin parishes is 12 with a population of 50,000.

From 1764, there is a report at Roman Archives from the Vicariate Apostolic of Malabar written by Carole di San Conrado, Procurator of Vicariate Apostolic of Malabar. (( Placid Podipara- “ The Thomas Christians” ))

Some extracts from the report,

“ The first or those called Mapuli are the chief ones converted by the glorious Apostle Saint Thomas from Namputhiris…. This kind or caste of Christians are all of the Syro- Chaldaic rite. Under the direction and administration of the Vicar Apostolic alone they are divided in to 49 parishes two of which are shared half and half by Catholics and Schismatics. Of this same caste of Christians there are 39 parishes more, eight of which are half Catholic and half heretic under the direction of the Archbishop of Cranganore “ ( As is quotation- here the Schismatics means Jacobite and according to this report there are 10 churches shared by both the Catholics & Syriac Orthodox )

About the Latin rite Christians, the report says, “ All Latin Christians depend on the Dutch and to appoint a parochus the consent of the government in Cochin of the Dutch is necessary” This same report of 1764 gives the Latin rite population as 40,989.

According to Paulinus of St. Bartholomew ( 1775-1789) period, there were, 84 Syrian Catholic parishes and 32 Syriac Orthodox parishes. (( Eugene Tisserant, – “Eastern Christianity in India” page 97))

In “India Orientelis Christiana” Paulinus says “Beside the Christians called Nasranis who follow Syro Chaldaic rite, those of the Latin rite number about thirty thousand and they are in Dutch protection now.” The Latin rite population as stated by Paulinus is 30,000.

According to Florentius in 1774, there were 94,600 Catholic Syrians with Sixty four Churches. The Syriac Orthodx had 32 Churches and numbered 50,000. (( Thomas Yeate- “ Indian Church History”- P-140))

In 1784, when a Poll tax was introduced by the King of Travancore, their number was estimated around 100,000. Ten Thousand of them lost their lives in Tipu invasion.

In 1778, letter of Mar Thoma VI ( Mar Dionysios I) to Pope Pius VI mentions 50,000 people under him (ErnakulamMAP Syr7, f. 516v-517r). In 1779, one of the six petitions Dr. Joseph Kariyattil and Paremakil given to the Portuguese Queen has the Population figure of 80,000 members under Mar Thoma VI. According to Caroli di. S Corrado ( who was the Administrator of Varapuzha at that time) there were only 20,000 faithful under Mar Thoma VI. (( Dr. Charles Payngot-” Malabar Church Puthiya Velichathil” ))

Summary about Syro Malabar Catholics in Eighteenth century

1702 AD- According to Bishop Angelus Franicis there were 114 Churches.
1704 AD- According to a local Petition send to Rome, 71 churches in complete submission and 18 in partial union.
1745 AD- According to Raulin, 83 Churches under Catholics.
1758 AD- According to Anquetil du Perron there were 84 Syrian Catholic parishes with 100000 Population.
1764 AD- According to the report of Carole di San Conrado 10 Churches shared by both Catholics and Syriac Orthodox.
1774 AD- According to Florentius, 94,600 Catholic Syrians with Sixty four Churches.
1789 AD- According to Paulinus of St. Bartholomew there were, 84 Syrian Catholic parishes.

Summary about Syriac Orthodox in Eighteenth century

1704 AD- According to the Petition send by Mar Thomas IV there were 29 Churches.
1745 AD- According to Raulin, 30 Churches under Syriac Orthodox.
1758 AD- According to Anquetil du Perron there were 20 Syriac Orthodox parishes with 50,000 Population
1764 AD- According to the report of Carole di San Conrado 10 Churches shared by both Catholics and Syriac Orthodox.
1774 AD- According to Florentius, the Syriac Orthodx had 32 Churches and numbered 50,000
1778 AD- According to the letter of Mar Thoma VI ( Mar Dionysios I) to Pope Pius VI mentions 50,000 people under him.
1779 AD- According to a petition by Dr. Joseph Kariyattil and Paremakil given to the Portuguese Queen the Population figure is 80,000 members under Mar Thoma VI.
1789 AD- According to Paulinus of St. Bartholomew there were 32 Syriac Orthodox parishes.

Among the Syriac Orthodox Church, there was a split in 1772 leading to the formation of Anjoor Thozhiur Church. The membership of this Church has always been very few.

c) Following Centuries

Among the Syro Malabar Church Catholics

1. Nineteenth Century

In 1806, Dr. Kerr’s Report ( Madras) , the Syrian Catholics numbered 90,000 with eighty six parishes and 400 priests. (( Thomas Yeate- “ Indian Church History”- P-140))

Syro Malabar Church Statistics 1876 to 2000 AD
Syro Malabar Church Statistics 1876 to 2000 AD

According to the list by Thomas Yeates, out of the 106 Saint Thomas Christians Churches of Sixteenth Century, 71 belong to Catholics ( Syro Malabar Church) in early nineteenth century ( 1818 AD) . 7 Churches were shared by both Catholics ( Syro Malabar Church) and Malankara Syriac Orthodox. 9 oratories belong to Catholics. ((Thomas Yeates , “ Indian Church History” published in 1818 AD, London))

The arrival of Chaldean Bishop Mar Mellus in 1874 led to the formation of Chaldean Syrian Church in India. They established communion with Assyrian Church of East in 1907 AD. There numbers has been few.

In 1876, the total numbers of Syro Malabar faithful were estimated at 200,000. There were 420 priests, 215 Churches and Chapels, 125 seminarians and 6 houses of the Syrian Carmelites. ((Cardinal Tisserant, “ Eastern Christianity in India “ Page 139 ))

2. Twentieth Century

In 1911 the three Vicariates of Syro Malabar Church, (Thrissur, Ernakulam and Changanacherry) had a combined population of 320,212. The Thrissur Vicariates had 91,064 members, the Ernakulam Vicariates had 94,357 and Changanacherry Vicariate had 134,791 members.

In 1931, there were 532,351 Syro Malabar Catholics, 635 diocesan priests, 591 churches and chapels, 220 religious men, 1052 nuns, 617 Catholic Schools. (( Eugene Tisserant- “ Eastern Christianity in India “by Page 139))

In 1936, according to Kaithanal, the Syro Malabar faithful numbered 666,000. The Mellusians or Chaldeans of Thrishur numbered about 8,000. (( Philip Kaithanal- ” Christianity in Malabar” (1938) ))

In 1954, the Syro Malabar Catholics population was at 1,088,962 with 720 diocesan priests, 700 Churches and chapels, 250 religious priests and 4,300 nuns. (( Eugene Tisserant- “ Eastern Christianity in India “by Page 139 ))

In 1956, there were 1,171,235 faithful, 892 diocesan priests, 439 seminarians, 1026 churches and chapels, 925 schools in the Syro Malabar Church. (( Eugene Tisserant- “ Eastern Christianity in India “by Page 139))

The statistics of 1962, gives the number of Syro Malabar faithful as 1,527,624. ((Placid Podipara- “ The Thomas Christians” ))

In 1990, the Syro Malabar Church membership was about 2,887,050. The membership in 2000 was 3,400,093 faithful. In 2005 the number of believers were about 3,699,142. ((“Annuario Pontificio”- The Pontifical year Book))

Among the Syriac Orthodox

1. Nineteenth Century

In 1806, Dr. Kerr’s Report( Madras), the Syriac Orthodox numbered 23,000 with fifty five Churches. (( Thomas Yeate- “ Indian Church History”- P-143))

Syriac Orthodox Statistics
Syriac Orthodox Statistics

According to the list by Thomas Yeates, out of the 106 Saint Thomas Christians Churches of Sixteenth Century, 28 belong to Malankara Syriac Orthodox in early nineteenth century ( 1818 AD) . 7 Churches were shared by both Catholics ( Syro Malabar Church) and Malankara Syriac Orthodox. ((Thomas Yeates , “ Indian Church History” published in 1818 AD, London))

There were many divisions in the Malankara Syriac Orthodox Church after the arrival of British Protestants. When Anglicans and Jacobites in India parted ways in 1836, some Syriac Orthodox joined Anglican Church. There numbers are estimated as some 6000/or 12000. Anglican influence led to the formation of Mar Thoma Church ( Reformed Syrians) in 1876.

2. Twentieth Century

The Syriac Orthodox Church split in to two groups in 1910-1912 as Orthodox and Jacobite. In 1930, a part of it joined the Catholic Church leading to the formation of Syro Malankara Church. The division among the Syriac Orthodox as Jacobite and Orthodox ended in 1958 but again split happened in 1975.

In 1931, the Syriac Orthodox ( Jacobite) and Orthodox Syriac ( Orthodox) had 366,000 faithful in Cochin and Travancore. The number of faithfull in British Malabar were estimated at 8,000. The reformed Syrian Church- Malankara Mar Thoma Church had 145,000 faithfull.

In 1936, Syro Malankara Catholic Church had 41,000 faithfull. (( Philip Kaithanal- ” Christianity in Malabar” (1938) ))

In 1945, the number of Malankara Mar Thoma Church followers were estimated at 1,74,000. The the Syriac Orthodox ( Jacobite) and Orthodox Syriac ( Orthodox) had 4,35,000 faithful with 350 priests and 508 churches. (( Daniel- ” The Syrian Church of Malabar” ))

In 1956, the reformed Party, The Mar Thoma Church had one Metropolitan and four suffragon bishops with 250,000 members ((Cardinal Eugene Tisserant – “ Eastern Christianity in India” ))

In 1961, there was a split in Malankara Mar Thoma Church leading to the formation of an evangelical church. It is estimated that about 1/4th ( 25,000) joined the new group.

In 1956, the Syro Malankara Church had 90,000 followers. ((Cardinal Eugene Tisserant – “ Eastern Christianity in India” ))

In 1984, the Syro Malankara Church had 124.433 followers. (( Placid Podipara- “ Thomas Christians” ))

In 1990, the Syro Malankra Church members numbered about 281,868. In 2000 the Population was about 446,220 and in 2005 the number of Syro Malankara faithful were about 402,702. ((“Annuario Pontificio”- The Pontifical year Book ))

2.Current Population Statistics of Saint Thomas Christians

About 24 million in India are Christians, which makes 2.34 % of the total population of India. Of the total Christians in India, 1/4th are from the small state of Kerala situated in the Southern tip of the country where Apostle Saint Thomas established Christianity in AD 52.The Christian population in this state of Kerala is approximately 6.2 million which is around 20 % of the State population. ((K. C. Zachariah- “A Demographic History of the Syrian Christians of Kerala”- Gives the statistics as 6 Million ))

According to a rough estimate, among them the vast majority (65-75 %) belongs to the Syrian Christian community spread across different Christian sects; the Syro-Malabar Catholic Church; the Syro – Malankara Catholic Church; the Malankara Syriac Orthodox Church ( Jacobite) ; the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church ( Orthodox) ; the Mar Thoma Syrian Church ( Reformed Syrians) ; the Chaldean Syrian Church and the Independent Syrian Church of Thoziyur.

According to a rough estimate, Catholics ( Syro Malabar Church & Syro Malankara Church ) together constitute about 66 %, the Malankara Orthodox Syriac (Orthodox) and Malankara Syriac Orthodox (Jacobites) together about 26 %, the Mar Thoma Reformed Syrians about 8 % and others make about 2 % of the Saint Thomas Christian Population in the state of Kerala.

The Syro Malabar Church is the largest denomination with a membership of about 3,600,000 in Kerala state. ((“Annuario Pontificio”- Pontifical year Book for 2008- Kerala Eparchies Population Statistics ))

There are also considerable population of Non Resident Keralites in other parts of India and in aboard mainly in US, Europe and Middle East. The rest are members of Latin Church who were converted to Christianity by the Portuguese in the 16th century ( there were Latin rite existing in Kerala before Portuguese arrival ) and others who were converted in the last two centuries by the British missionaries (Church of South India) and the various Pentecostal churches.

2.1 District wise Population & Percentile in Kerala

According to the 1991 Census, the largest Christian populated district in the Country is Ernakulam (Cochin). 20 % of the total Christian population in Kerala State lives in Ernakulam district. Kottayam district has the second largest Christian population, with 15 % of the Christian population in Kerala living in this district. Thrissur and Thiruvananthapuram districts are placed at fourth and fifth place with 12 % and 10 % of the total Christians of Kerala state living there. Pathanamthitta district has 10 % of the Kerala Christian population living there. ((K. C. Zachariah- “A Demographic History of the Syrian Christians of Kerala” ))

3. Individual Church Populations

Following are the approximate number of individual church populations belonging  to the Saint Thomas Christian tradition. Detailed level Population statistics are not available for non- Catholic denominations and the statistics for non Catholic denominations are based on rough estimate.

Saint Thomas Christians Demography
Saint Thomas Christians Demography

a) Catholic Communion

3.1-Syro Malabar Catholics- 3,947,396
3.2-Syro Malankara Catholics- 413,513

Population Statistics - Saint Thomas Christians
Population Statistics – Saint Thomas Christians

b) Oriental Orthodox Communion

3.3-Malankara Syriac Orthodox Church ( Jacobite) and Malankara Orthodox Syriac Church ( Orthodox) together – 1750,000

c) Anglican Communion

3.4-Mar Thoma Syrian Church – 550,000

d) Independent

3.5-Thoziyur Church- 10,000

e) Church of East Communion

3.6-Chaldean Syrian Church -25,000

a) Catholic Communion

3.1 Syro Malabar Church

According to “Annuario Pontificio”- The Pontifical year Book for 2008, there are about 3,947,396 members in Syro Malabar Church. They are commonly known as Syrian Catholics.

Syro Malabar Church Snapshot
Syro Malabar Church Snapshot

There are 27 eparchies. Five of them are Archeparchies at present – Ernakulam-Angamaly, Changanacherry, Trichur, Tellicherry and Kottayam. There are other 11 eparchies – Bhadravathi, Belthangady, Irinjalakuda, Kanjirapally, Kothamangalam, Idukki, Mananthavady, Palai, Palghat, Thamarassery, and Thuckalay within the proper territory of the Major Archiepiscopal Church. There are 11 eparchies outside Kerala – Adilabad, Bijnor, Chanda, Gorakhpur, Jagdalpur, Kalyan, Rajkot, Sagar, Satna, Ujjain and the St. Thomas Eparchy of Chicago in the United States of America.

According to “Annuario Pontificio”- The Pontifical year Book for 2008, the number of parishes in Syro Malabar Church are 2669. At present there are 3200 parishes, 538 semi parishes and 490 mission stations. There are 9121 priests in Syro Malabar Church. 5436 of them are Religious and Secular priests. The number of Male Religious is 4328 and female religious is 32026.

Archeparchy of Ernakulam-Anagamaly has 510,000 members with 347 parishes, 731 religious/secular priests, 632 male religious and 4935 female religious. Archeparchy of Trichur has 471,328 members with 195 parishes, 418 religious/secular priests, 358 male religious and 3315 female religious. Eparchy of Idukki has 400,000 members with 129 parishes, 119 religious/secular priests, 109 male religious and 1320 female religious. Archeparchy of Changanacherry has 390,000 members with 266 parishes, 615 religious/secular priests, 534 male religious and 2705 female religious. Eparchy of Palai has 348,128 members with 169 parishes, 502 religious/secular priests, 127 male religious and 3312 female religious. Archeparchy of Tellicherry has 317,782 members with 222 parishes, 293 religious/secular priests, 263 male religious and 1664 female religious.. Eparchy of Irinjalakuda has 258,200 members with 128 parishes, 233 religious/secular priests, 132 male religious and 2350 female religious. Eparchy of Kothamangalam has 217,420 members with 115 parishes, 242 religious/secular priests, 163 male religious and 2210 female religious. Eparchy of Kanjirapally has 192,000 members with 136 parishes, 314 religious/secular priests, 210 male religious and 1840 female religious. Archeparchy of Kottayam has 175,300 members with 149 parishes, 161 religious/secular priests, 107 male religious and 1233 female religious. Eparchy of Mananthavady has 170,100 members with 140 parishes, 413 religious/secular priests, 358 male religious and 1546 female religious. Eparchy of Thamarasserry has 129,600 members with 128 parishes, 247 religious/secular priests, 257 male religious and 1321 female religious.. Eparchy of Palghat has 68,004 members with 106 parishes, 167 religious/secular priests, 82 male religious and 1360 female religious. ((“Annuario Pontificio”- Pontifical year Book 2008 ))

According to a study conducted, in Kerala about 30 percent of the Syro Malabar Church members lived in the erstwhile Cochin State. The remaining 70 percent lived in Travancore state. In the Travancore State, Meenachil Taluk had the largest proportion, followed by Changanaserry Taluk.

Erstwhile Cochin State, Meenachil and Changanaserry together had 56 percent of the total Syro Malabar Population. Kottayam, Thodupuzha,Cherthala,Mukundapuram(irinjalakkuda-chalakkudy),Wadakkancherry,Thrissur,North Parur,Aluva,Kanjirapally,Vaikom, Moovattupuzha, Kunnathunadu ,Kothamangalam,Ambalapuzha,Kuttanad,Peerumedu,Nedumkandam and Devikulam etc are the prominent taluks

3.2 Syro Malankara Church

According to “Annuario Pontificio”- The Pontifical year Book for 2008, there are about 413,513 members in Syro Malankara Church. They are commonly known as Malankara Catholics.

Syro Malankara Church Snapshot
Syro Malankara Church Snapshot

There are 6 eparchies. Two of them are Archeparchies at present – Trivandrum and Tiruvalla. There are other 4 eparchies – Marthandom, Mavelikara, Battery and Muvattupuzha.

According to “Annuario Pontificio”, the number of parishes in Syro Malankara Church are 497. There are 616 Religious and Secular priests in Syro Malankara Church. The number of Male Religious is 240 and female religious is 1660.

Archeparchy of Trivandrum has 250,477 members with 104 parishes, 254 religious/secular priests, 142 male religious and 721 female religious. Archeparchy of Tiruvalla has 37,486 members with 133 parishes, 131 religious/secular priests, 54 male religious and 267 female religious. The eparchy of Marthandom has 63,750 members with 79 parishes, 34 religious/secular priests, 3 male religious and 172 female religious. The eparchy of Mavelikara has 24,523 members with 94 parishes, 54 religious/secular priests, 9 male religious and 143 female religious. The eparchy of Battery has 25,600 members with 21 parishes, 101 religious/secular priests, 12 male religious and 262 female religious. The eparchy of Muvattupuzha has 11,677 members with 66 parishes, 42 religious/secular priests, 20 male religious and 95 female religious. ((“Annuario Pontificio”- Pontifical year Book 2008 ))

b) Oriental Orthodox Communion

3.3 Malankara Syriac Orthodox Church ( Jacobite) & Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church ( Orthodox)

Malankara Syriac Orthodox Church Snapshot
Malankara Syriac Orthodox Church Snapshot

According to a rough estimate, Malankara Syriac Orthodox  Church ( Jacobite) & Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church ( Orthodox) has together 1750,000 members. Published detailed level Population statistics are not available for both the Churches. They are commonly known as Jacobites and Orthodox.

According to a rough estimate, the respective Malankara Associations of Malankara Syriac Orthodox Church ( Jacobite) has about 450 parishes and Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church ( Orthodox) has about 1200 parishes.

Malankara Orthodox Syriac Church Snapshot
Malankara Orthodox Syriac Church Snapshot

According to Malankara Orthodox Syriac Church ( Orthodox) sources, there are 1500 parishes. There are 21 Dioceses which 15 of them are in Kerala and 6 of them outside Kerala. The number of Priests in Malankara Orthodox Syriac Church ( Orthodox) are 1240. There are 21 Rambans, 82 Corepiscopas, 120 Deacons, 210 Monks and 200 Nuns.

The Malankara Syriac Orthodox Church ( Jacobite) has diocese at New Delhi, Angamaly, Mumbai, Kandanad, Bangalore, Kottayam, Kochi Idukki, Niranam, Kollam, Thumpamon, Thrissur and Malabar.

According to a study conducted, geographically, the Jacobite & Orthodox Syrians were less concentrated than the Catholic Syrians. Twelve taluks included more than 90 percent of the population. Four taluks Tiruvalla, Moovattupuzha Kunnathunadu Kottayam makes more than 50 percent of their total population. ((K. C. Zachariah- “A Demographic History of the Syrian Christians of Kerala” ))

c) Anglican Communion

3.3 Mar Thoma Syrian Church

According to a rough estimate, Mar Thoma Syrian Church ( Reformed Syrians ) has about 550,000 members. They are commonly known as Marthomites.

Malankara Mar Thoma Church Snapshot
Malankara Mar Thoma Church Snapshot

Published detailed level Population statistics are not available for the Church. There was a split in 1661, leading to the formation of Saint Thomas Evangelical Church.

There are 9 dioceses. They are Adoor-Malaysia-Australia-Singapore, Chengannur-Mavelikara, Niranam-Maramon, Ranny-Nilackel, Thiruvananthapuram-Kollam, Kottayam- Kochi, Chennai- Bangalore- Kunnamkulam- Malabar, Mumbai and North America-Europe.

The numbers of parishes including congregations in Mar Thoma Syrian Church are 1075. There are 786 priests in Mar Thoma Syrian Church.

According to a study conducted, Tiruvalla taluk had 42 percent of the Mar Thoma Syrian Christians in 1931.Thiruvalla and Pathanamthitta taluks together had 56 percent of the total. The other taluks with high proportions of Mar Thoma Syrians in 1931 were Kottarakara, Mavelikara and Kunnathunadu. ((K. C. Zachariah- “A Demographic History of the Syrian Christians of Kerala” ))

d) Independent

3.4 Thoziyur Church

According to a rough estimate, Thoziyur Church has 10,000 members. Its membership has almost the same since the church was formed.

e) Church of East Communion

3.5 Chaldean Syrian Church

According to a rough estimate the Chaldean Syrian Church has 25,000 members. In 1908, when the Chaldean Syrian Church in Thrishur joined the Church of East Communion a number of people came back to Syro Malabar Church.

4. Population of Other Churches in Kerala

According to a rough estimate the Latin rite in Kerala has about 2 million members. Erstwhile Cochin State is a major centre of the Latin Catholics. In Travancore, Neyattumkara taluk had the largest number accounting for about 10 percent of the total in Travancore-Cochin area. Most of the other centers of Latin Catholics are on the coastal belt of the state.

The Thomas Christians who were members of the Syrian Anglican Church ( the Jacobites who joined Anglican Church in 1837 AD) joined Church of South India when it was formed in 1947 as a union in Anglican communion of the Anglican, Methodist, Congregational, Presbyterian, and Reformed churches. Madhya Kerala and South Kerala are the two dioceses in Kerala.


According to the demographer K.C. Zachariah, already about 25 percent of Syrian Christians live outside Kerala with a huge population living outside India. Very soon, the majority of them would be living outside and in 50 years time, the demography of the Christian population in the state would change drastically. Christianity in Kerala was once synonymous with Syrian Christians. They stood apart from other Christian communities. But soon Christianity in Kerala would lose its Syrianness. The community has today become one of the smallest among the majority sects like Muslims, Nairs and Ezhavas.

The Syrian Christians are `notoriously lethargic’ in developing and maintaining basic information about the community. For the community to survive in the 21st century, its members should come together in the emerging era of demographic crises and jointly invest more of their resources in areas that matter the most, especially in the development of human resources. ((K. C. Zachariah- “A Demographic History of the Syrian Christians of Kerala” ))

* Based on available sources known to the Author and shared by others in discussion.

Author can be reached on admin at nasrani dot net
Last Update- August 20th 2009

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  1. Anonymous says

    What is the source of the “available statistics”? I am not aware of any rigorous demographic analysis that has been done to produce statistics of Syrian Christian population and denominational strength. If they exist, please cite references.

  2. Sunitha says

    I found the statement on population of Christians ‘the Dalits who were converted in the last two centuries by the British missionaries (Church of South India)’ amusing. The author is so ignorant about the facts of the population of CSI christians.

    A good number of CSI christians in Keraka are Syrian christians. In Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh many ‘forward’ castes when converted into christianity joined the CSI.

    Unlike in Kerala, most of the groups in these states had the courage to join together setting apart their differences to form the CSI which never happened in Kerala.

  3. Jayant says

    I always wonder what was the language of the earliest Christians in Kerala? Since Malayalam originated after the 8th Century and what is Kerala today was ruled by the Cheras did the early Nazranis speak Tamil?

  4. Justin says

    Last few decades the population of Nasranis, a community with this much of history and heritage is decreasing yearly. Does any one seems to care ?

  5. Prof. Dinkar David says

    This population fall and parsi syondrome is not new. This has been happening atleast for the last three decades.Churches are commercialized and no body seems to worry about population fall. Just by awareness or by notices nothing is going to happen. I have rarely seen people with more than two kids and most of the people I came across just has one kid.

  6. George Mathew says

    Dear Jayant,
    A good question. I have pondered the question as to what the language of the Nasrani was.. I think the Nasrani spoke Aramaic at home during the first few AD centuries. Later it would have a mix of Aramaic and Tamil and still later a mix of Aramaic and Malayalm. And now it is Malayalam.with a few Syriac/Aramaic words here and there.

  7. George Mathew says

    Dear Justin,
    Nasrani population fall is real and is happening at this hour. I will think deeper into this.

    For what purpose should the Nasrani population increase? If the purpose is for God’s glory, then the problem should be addressed. But if the purpose is increasing numbers for the sake of political strength, then the Glory of God will not abide with us. Our increasing population will turn out to be a curse.
    So let us each look into oursleves and see what our motive is for increasing the population. If our motive is to glorify God by service to our fellowmen, then multiply and fill the earth. If this is not our motive, it is better not to multiply.

  8. john says

    This article show the real picture . Nazranis should be bothered more about demographical growth rather than thinking about foriegn money .otherwise as acommunity we are going to become suicide
    so more than two kids become a policy of nazrani youths for regaining their political power in a democratic environment .particularly in kerala
    in the recent assembly sub division the south kerala lost more seats and north kerala gains
    this affect christians than any other community

  9. john says

    the nasranis should really bother about demography.
    mostly people reduce their no: of children for gaining luxuries such as big house ,luxury car etc
    childrens are gift of god and nasranis rejected gods gift and searching for other valubles
    this will make a community suicide .
    so be brave to have more chidren
    and it is enevitable for our existense
    just leave steriotypes

  10. George Mathew says

    Dear John,

    I share your spirit about having children. They are indeed God’s gift if dedicated to Him. But do we doit? We tend to decide what is good for our children.
    There are thousands of Nasrani children who do very well in school, go to Sunday School, Church but totally lack humanity. We are increasingly proving ourselves to be very bad role models for our children.

    Compassion, humility, humanity, integrity….are something we Nasranis do not have. It is better we have less children so that we do not pass on these very serious defects to the next generation. I am very sorry to say this but this is my honest opinion.

    I have been watching Nasranis for a long time. We are far behind Hindus as far as virtues go. We accuse the Hindus of being idol worshippers but it we are now the greatest idol worshippers.

    For the present the Nasranis greatest idol is his ‘MBBS, CA, BE, LLB etc..’.all proffessional/academic qualifications to make lots of money. We would rather study hard and score high marks in our exams than viisit our old and poor neighbour and do something good and useful to him/her. If you miss the oppurtunity to serve the neighbour now, you will not get the chance again. Read the wonderful parable about the Good Samaritian told by Yeshua.

    Education is neccessary, but we Nasranis have carried it too far. It is better we do not raise 6foot 3inch Nasrani boys with high qualifications and jobs but with no humanity. Do you share my view?

  11. George Mathew says

    Dear Bryswki,

    The bible our forefather read was in Syriac. Many could read it.
    Before our Malayalam bible was printed, we had access to the Tamil bible. I know that some families in Mavelikara had Tamil bibles with them. These bible were printed by CMS missionaries before they helped print the Malayalam bible.

  12. BGfromNZ says

    About the demographic issue and migration, I would like to rename nasrani as “nurserani” . Out of 250 malayali families in our social club 103 are Christians (Syrian, marthoma , yacoba and few CSI, Latin and roman) and nearly all of them are nurses and health care workers. Unlike others they live in a self imposed cocoon occupation on no account socialise with the main stream. Don’t know why? I wonder most of the other members are engineers, doctors and skilled migrants. There will be a huge reply for this post and most of them will be from partners of health workers! Moreover husbands of these factions are uneducated and unwaged or liable for bare minimum pay jobs

    We have a basic attitude of doing anything for riches and migration. I often think we are not devoted to our soil. A long time ago this was said by Tipu sultan too. A marthomite cousin of mine migrated to South Africa in nineties with out even seeing the woman he wanted to wed. Soon after, the wedding became a talk show when he we saw the couple. They looked similar to son and mother. With my experience I conclude that most of the Christians who left kerala will never turn back. I talked to scores of and majority had the same reply in the vein of kid’s education and standard of living, whilst most of my Hindu friends desperately want to go back.

  13. John Mathew says

    Regarding “nurserani’s” … what’s your point? That people like to acquire money so that they can live rather than starve? Is that bad?

    Human beings, Nasrani or not, have an innate goal to survive … and in modern, non-nomadic civilizations, survival is tied to money. I think a lot of the people who decry this have a deluded view of reality… for example, people who claim that the Nasrani’s are not true to their religion/culture because they focus on getting advanced degrees, or becoming engineers, doctors, lawyers, etc. What is wrong with that? How is one to live without becoming good at something? Or should we sit around and try to spread our religion (of dubious purpose), preserve our culture (meaningless), or return to our mother land and venerate the dirt on the ground (boring after a while)?

    And regarding not wanting to come back to Kerala … so, taking this romanticism to the extreme, should all human beings sit down and return to Mother Africa? Please. Kerala is a place, it’s not heaven. Neither is the US and neither is Jerusalem, nor any other place. People go where they go to live. And often they have to work — hard. And after that, they want to rest. Does it really matter where they are when they do any of these?

    Finally … your observations are yours. They aren’t necessarily representative of every single Nasrani, Hindu, etc. I know plenty of Hindus that couldn’t give have an iota of concern for returning back to the Motherland. Many of them (like many of us, myself included) just want to be happy somewhere—a laudable—and realistic—goal.

    Devoted to our soil … nationalistic/patriotic fluff. One’s duty is to one’s self.

  14. George Mathew says

    dear john,
    i did not say that being a proffessional is wrong. what is wrong is ‘at what cost?’
    Again, not returning to kerala is not wrong, but at what cost?

    we nasranis these days seem to have only money in mind, if you lack a proffessional certification or money, then please go and get them. the danger of being away from your kith and kin is that in course of time you loose your heritage and identity. soon you become a man with a black/brown skin wearing a top hat. having an umbrella in your hand or having 10 tattooes or rings pierced all over your body.

    you will have to stay with your herd as far as possible.

  15. BGfromNZ says

    Third world attitude! The dirt is in ones mind not in the soil…

    This can be associated to a “Malayalam kurachu kurache ariyuuu” syndrome.
    Loving only oneself is like a money lender thinking only about principal and interest. The base point is that we love to betray anything and everything. Obviously Gandhi could have settled abroad leaving us in the arms of bloody whites. So why did our forefathers get involved in the Independence Movement which eventually disintegrated and dismantled the British Empire and earned us this beautiful freedom. Imagine if IITian founders of Infosys and Sathyam flew to US or UK for a 50k job.

    The reality is that nasranis or more into easy to find jobs like nursing, teaching and technical diploma (ITI or poly) and of course hard working (Arunthati Roy – God of small things). History also mentions about the heroic battle of Pazhasy Raja for extensive ten years and the elevation of Christians to the British plane. Any way the point is shoshama and thankamma will graduate with a general nursing degree (easiest to obtain) and along with her an untaught spouse will reach the west. Probably it may be a natural course of refining the state, a way of eliminating ineffectual souls, perhaps which may spin god’s own country to a better pasture one day.

    I have a co-brother breeding the same attitude. He is a male nurse who never had a friend in kerala; apparently we wonder why he should go back!

  16. NJ says

    Dear BG

    “Out of 250 malayali families in our social club 103 are Christians (Syrian, marthoma , yacoba and few CSI, Latin and roman) and nearly all of them are nurses and health care workers.”

    You need to do the counting again. 103 from 250 is not a realistic picture.147 should not be from outside Nasrani community especially in NZ. If you are so interested in counting, I advice you to re count and get the figures right. We does know when all started landing in NZ and through what route they came.Its just few years that many of our communties came to know that there are places like NZ existitng in their world map.

    There is nothing amusing for lot of people being in Healthcare especially Nurses. May be you can research to get the number and percentages of hospitals run by Nasrani’s in India and especially in Kerala. Get the figures 50 yearsback and now. If you would like to know, i can give you the figures .If you consider the number of Nasrani run healthcare institutions and the figures of Nasranis in Healthcare you can see that its proportional from independence onwards.

    “Unlike others they live in a self imposed cocoon occupation on no account socialise with the main stream. Don’t know why?”

    May I know who are these others ? Who are the excitingly socialising Indian community you know from your experiance ? Let me tell you very honestly, I have very rarely seen Malayais socialsing with other population in immigrant countries.

    The situation of Nasranis is much better than other communities. When their numbers get atleast 10 they start getting their sabha, church, priest etc and replicate their set up in the land they are in. Others are in a very bad situtation.Let me also tell you these Rudrasham’s etc you see these days in NZ has reached there, only after Nasranis started planting their Mar Thoma cross their.

  17. NJ says

    “I wonder most of the other members are engineers, doctors and skilled migrants”

    Can you be specific ? Do you think we all are cave men with no knowledge and connection with other communities. Dude, better get it straight. No community has as many as professionals as in Nasrani community. The reasons are also simple and straight forward. As a community Nasranis has been the prime movers in Kerala. If you would like to count, may be you can browse and count yellow pages in Auckland .You can also try to get the figures from ground. Talk to any Karantaka or Tamil Nadu self financing agents, from where they are getting their students and on whom they are dependent for thier survival.

    “Moreover husbands of these factions are uneducated and unwaged or liable for bare minimum pay jobs”

    That was comical. Let me also tell you we have all kind of people. When ever I traveled outside India out of the 10 cabs I hired, atleast one had a Punjabi driver and out of the 5 motels I stayed, atleast one had a Gujarathi worker. There are a good number of Nasranis who run business every where. After all it was what they were doing earlier. If you want to tabulate other communities from Kerala, its too early to take count . They are just followers in Nasrani footsteps. There is a long way for them to go to make good presence. Get folks before you count. There is saying dont count your chickens before they hatch.

    “wedding became a talk show”

    If you would like I can share talk shows from other communities. These days for money every one will dance. There is no community. It has beocome a human aspect. Nasranis has more options and alternatives than other communities mainly because of them being the prime movers. Others don’t have that advantage. It’s a very sad scene if you are seriously interested in comparing with other communities.

    “With my experience I conclude that most of the Christians who left kerala will never turn back”

    It’s the other way around. The number of Christians outside India is high, in a comparatively scale than other communities. Some stay and some go back. This wave of immigration is not new for them. I was talking to an old Egyptian cab driver few days back and he was sharing some thoughts on Tito, Nehru, Nasser, Sukarno, Nkrumah movements. He was a bit surprised when i asked him about Nasser. He knows Kerala and he told me that in 1960’s most of the teachers in Egypt were from Kerala.

    In 1960’s it was teaching, in 1970’ it was Nursing, in 1990 onwards its IT and everything. Every where Nasranis are their in significant number. There is no East or West. Most of the Nasranis just care about themselfs and about their family. Maximum most of them will go, is in getting their faction priest with their Qurbana. They dont care for more.

    “in the vein of kid’s education and standard of living”

    Standard of living may be a factor. But how ever rich you are, can you afford a maid in any of these places ? About Kids education, I think you are just learning. Are you a student ? FYI, most of the Nasranis do home schooling as that’s better than sending for schooling in these places. Its not beacuse of the cost factor. If you dont want to loose your child at very early age its better to give home schooling. Our Schooling in India is much better than any where in the world for school children. Only when it get in to post graduation these places are some what good.

    “whilst most of my Hindu friends desperately want to go back.”

    May i know then why are you their ? If they are so desperate why should you be their ? Tell them to pack their bags and go back. India is not the earlier land of snake chamers.There are plenty of oppurtunites be it on any filed. Decent living can be obtained in India itself. Let me also tell you it is the Hindu’s who never come back and most of them accept that also.

  18. BGfromNZ says

    Dear NJ
    Cool answers and explanations, but again a pinch of self glory and curly interpretations. Honestly reading your version is sickening.

    “Our Schooling in India is much better than any where in the world for school children”
    Its worth a good giggle, I myself is an outcome of top CBSE School in eighties. My two kids are in a catholic institution here in Auckland. You just can’t weigh against! Also view programs like “are you smarter than a fifth grade”. I bet many of us would not be able to answer most of the questions.

    “Only when it get into post graduation these places are some what good.”
    Here you are true. Just tell me the world ranking of Indian universities or schools. It’s pathetically shamble. IITs are in the list only in aggregate scoring, but squat on areas of inventions and innovations.

    “These days for money every one will dance”
    Don’t expect every one in that row.

    “Prime movers”
    I just wanted to quote an example of a friend who bred an additional kid at the age of 48 to get an extra child care payment of 155 dollars per weak… prime movers!

    “maximum most of them will go, is in getting their faction priest with their Qurbana. They dont care for more.”
    Self imposed cocoons again

    “Its just few years that many of our communties came to know that there are places like NZ existitng in their world map.”
    If you could downgrade one of the most beautiful countries in the world, no wonder you are so generous in scribbling these comical analyses.

    “I have very rarely seen Malayis socialsing with other population in immigrant countries”
    Again wrong NJ. As you said you would be the product of a typical kerala township where priest and quarbana was the only touring spaces.

    “Talk to any Karantaka or Tamil Nadu self financing agents, from where they are getting their students and on whom they are dependent for thier survival.”
    A good atleast in IT courses are from Gujarat, Bombay, Karnataka and AP

    “Nasranis has more options and alternatives than other communities”
    Self glory again

    “are you a student”
    Dear I am in IT and my wife is a CA and we view life from a broader perspective.

  19. John Mathew says

    Dear George,

    I really can’t decipher what you are saying. (This business about top hats, umbrellas, and tattoos means exactly what?)

    People focus on the important things … living and creating a future. Looking back on stuff in the past is interesting … but ultimately of no use. Our ancestors modified their ancestors way of life, just as we modify our ancestors way of life. No one stays true to the old — because there’s no use in staying true to the old.

    I’m interested in Nasrani history because the story is interesting. But there is no way in hell that I want to life as my ancestors did! And if I feel like I want 10 tattoos I will get them — who cares? I’m sure my ancestors probably made “rebellious” choices themselves.

    Dear NJ:

    “Our Schooling in India is much better than any where in the world for school children”

    Yeah right, whatever. Ridiculous! As is the delusional comment on home schooling …

  20. John Mathew says

    Dear BGfromNZ,

    You make it seem like the founders of Infosys or whatever did it for the nation. Sure whatever … go and subscribe to that delusion if you want. The reality: people do whatever they do out of self-interest. Except—possibly—for some rare people like Gandhi.

    If someone doesn’t have much money or education, perhaps the simplest thing is to get some basic certification in some “lightweight” subject (e.g., nursing or IT, for example) and then get a job based on that. If someone has more education and money, perhaps they go and aim a little higher (B.Tech. or B.Sc. or B.A. or whatever). And someone who has more ability will aim for a Ph.D. or something similar.

    Based on your reasoning everyone should aim for a Ph.D. or some massively “productive” profession. But that ignores reality. Some people are only good for Nursing or IT or plumbing or whatever. They ought to pursue those professions, get married, make some money, and perhaps raise some kids who can outdo them. This is called progress. You make this seem shameful or menial…

  21. BGfromNZ says

    Dear John, thanks for the response!
    You are one of the few who writes realistically; perhaps that’s why you are always impressive. Whilst some contradictions are to be sorted out. I don’t know your back ground and how did you weigh nursing against IT is confusing and of course in your lingo “ridiculous”. From project management to coding, IT is a really complex area to master. One needs at least an MCA or B Tech to pursue an IT career, which accordingly need 3 or 4 years of complex education with a minimum of 40 level 7 and 8 subjects (level 8 being a PG paper) to complete. Also I don’t believe PhD is the highest educational achievement, perhaps in a structural string it should be. There are scores of other areas which requests higher IQ and hard work. One of my friends has a PhD in “tabla”. Traditional courses like B.Sc and BA are nearly antique.

    Business is not charity. It’s a graceful instrument capable of generating wealth and employment. Apparently second part is for the society. There are many Gandhis in our realm who go unseen, that’s because we don’t care to see.

    You have portrayed Nasranis as multimillionaires capable of multi tasking! Wonder why you propagate such an unrealistic illusion. India has the third largest billionaires in the world (Forbes – 2007, if china and Hong Kong accounted separately), so why didn’t a single enterprising nasrani get through? Each community operates hospitals and educational institutions, but in varying level and that’s not a big deal, health care and education being the most promising ROI (return on investment). Running a hardware shop or a jewelry shop or owning few acres of land won’t render an aggregate community upgrade to the millionaire club. We all know Ezhava community is budding as an economic and political power in kerala that does not mean that each Ezhava family is enjoying an upright existence. The same with Gujaratis (richest state in India – 2007).
    Also your story about the Egyptian cab driver is fascinating. (thoughts on Tito, Nehru, Nasser, Sukarno, Nkrumah movements). Probably a school drop out, driving taxi for a living, remembering an Indian teacher’s local history of 1960’s, a narration too paranoid to digest. How does some one make random examples like this?

  22. John Mathew says

    Dear BGfromNZ:

    From my perspective, IT is just a modern equivalent of Nursing. It’s a technical, applied discipline; although many “engineers” find employment as IT workers, IT is most certainly not engineering—it is no where close to engineering. But I would never denigrate IT, as I would never denigrate nursing. They are different in their domain of application, and their tools and techniques, but from a sociological point of view they serve a similar function for the various generations of Malayali’s (and other peoples from the third world) — enabling people to get quite far (professionally and financially) with relatively low-grade intellectual work.

    In most countries, the Ph.D. (or the equivalent) is the highest educational degree one can get *in a specific field.* A Ph.D. in “tabla” is probably the highest achievement, educationally, for a tabla player. But, in the final analysis, who gives a sh*t about a tabla player’s educational background: either he moves you or he doesn’t and it has little to do with his education.

    But let’s take serious fields like Science, Engineering, Medicine, History, or whatever. For these, getting a real Ph.D. (and not a fluff degree conferred by a school of dubious credibility, like what many Malayali’s from the old generation have, such as the various bishops/priests with their “Doctor of Divinity” fluff) represents the highest achievement in an academic sense. Of course, there’s probably no correlation between education and success or happiness. But I was merely speaking education.

    Finally, I agree with your sentiments on business. Business and the mechanisms of capitalism are great! But they are done for self-interest … their benefit to society is probably not high on the founder’s mind (nor should it be … business should be done for profit and the self). No argument from me here.

    By the way, not to make this a smooshy love fest, but I think your comments introduce some good negative feedback to the overly self-congratulatory and overly self-promoting and the over self-glorification that the Nasranis seem to have a penchant for. I mean … we’re just the descendants of apes in the final analysis! But, having said that, it is still a neat story.

  23. BGfromNZ says

    Dear john
    I simply agree to most of your perceptions!

  24. John Mathew says

    “Education is neccessary, but we Nasranis have carried it too far”

    Reading many of the comments on this group, I think the reverse is true.

  25. George Mathew says

    Dear BG,
    I disagree with your views about the hubbies of Nasrani femal nurses. I have earlier laughed at them but today I am a changed man. I find these ‘hubbies’ or ‘Husbands of Nasrani Nurses’ or simply ‘HNN” more humane than our Nasrani Engineers or Doctors or Nasa sceintists.

    When one is in need, you will find that these ‘semi literate’ or ‘hillybilly’ men (as John Mathew may say) more helpful than the Engineers and Doctors.
    The doctors and engineers have social and economic status to maintain. As long as you are also of high status, the doctors and engineers are your freinds. Once you loose it, they are simply no longer available.

    I am not against education, but I generally find that those who achieve academic success are also those who are less freindly, less outgoing, less giving in emotions, sentiments, time and energy to others. I will boldy say that the HNN are more fun loving and extroverted than the engineers and doctors.

    At this very moment in Calgary, you will will the HNN get together in one of their houses and play cards, have some liqour and have a wonderful time. This is contrary to what you said earlier. My findings are entirely different.

    Above all things, the HNN understand better what is life. Our Nasrani engieers and doctors have their certifications alright, but generally are less knowledgeable about what is life.
    I will bet that the average HNN will know more than double Syriac words than the Nasrani doctors or engieers. I challenge. They will know more about Jacobites, Marthomites, Orthodox etc.. The doctors and Engineers have poorer knowledge. The HNN are more grounded to earth and the commen things or life.

  26. George Mathew says

    Dear John,
    By top hats and tattooes, I was touching upon we Nasrani adopting a culture that is foreign to us. i do not agree with you that our forefather’s had not stayed true to their old heritage/life styles. They were generally loyal to their heritage. That is why even after 2000 years we are in this forum discussing about our heritage.

    It is strange that as far as the church goes, you do not want reformation, but as far as ordinary life goes you want change.

    I am just the opposite. I want reformation in our church and orthodox way of life in our families. The divorce rates and relationship breaking here in the west is astonishing. Unless we go back to our old ways of life where women were honoured, the old cared for and men respected we are heading for very bad times. I believe that of all people, we Nasranis have it in us to withstand the storms of this century if we only understand our true heritage and follow it.

    Our mordern education, business etc. are always talking about changes. These changes are only proving to drag us more into dependency upon corporations and businesses. As you are in Canada you must certainly know about the Amish, Menonites, Hattarites or something like that. They are old fashioned people with very low or nil divorce rates, good family life, healthy living etc.. Now look at the other communities around them. They are a total disaster. Let us keep close to our heritage and traditions where there is safety. Am I clearer now?

  27. George Mathew says


    Those of us who have migrated to Canada, US,NW, UK etc. are doomed. We have not only destoryed our ownselves, but most importantly our childrens future. Poor miserable chldren, they are doomed to live far away from our Kerala and forced to adopt the decayed ways of the west.

    We deserve this, as we have left our own people and came in search of personal happines. Typically west, even before we actually landed in Canada/NZ.
    We are walking stinking corpses covered with expensive perfume.

    There is not a second when my heart does not pine for corrupt and filthy Kerala. A few days ago my 20 year old son asked me a pointed question ‘ Appa! where would you like to be buried, either in Kerala or Israel?’. For all my great love for India and Kerala, I replied Israel.

  28. John Mathew says

    Dear George,

    “Those of us who have migrated to Canada, US,NW, UK etc. are doomed”

    Speak for yourself. If you really feel this way, perhaps you should consider going back to Kerala or Israel or Africa, or wherever your genetic code takes you. Why stay in a place you don’t like? Nothing’s been destroyed. In fact, I find people here (Malayalis) to be quite aware of things–when they choose to be. Many of my cousins back in Kerala couldn’t care less about Syriac or the rituals of our religion; whereas my brother and I learned Syriac on our own and have detailed knowledge of our rites. I’ve read books in the original Syriac that my (Indian-born-and-raised) priests have only read in Malayalam. Most Malayali’s back in Kerala read their evening prayers in Malayalam, based off translations. I have the originals. WHo is more faithful to their Syriac heritage? And I’ve never spend more than four months in Kerala for my entire life. I love Kerala, but I’m not rich and need to stay in the West for practical reasons.

    No adult taught me Syriac. I never went to any “Sunday school” for this. My brother and I were curious and we found out. Moreover, we were curious because we were comfortable enough here in the west to take some time to study things that we found interesting, for its own sake. Is that possible in a third world country where survival is a more pressing concern?

    Who’s forced to adopt the decayed ways of the west? First of all, not everything here is decayed, and there is no homogeneous culture here either. The west is a mixture of a whole bunch of different things. Perhaps you feel this way because you’re a Mar Thomite, and from what I’ve observed about your people, they tend to be quicker to adopt the standards of their protestant brothers in the West. The same phenomena exists amongst Catholics too, for the same reasons. I think it also exists to a lesser degree amongst the Orthodox, but generally, I think the Orthodox are a little more stubborn than the rest. After all, we have a lot of pride in that we carry the oldest traditions of Christianity … uncorrupted and unpolluted by missionaries and pastors and charismatics.

    It’s very easy to live a pious life when one has no options (e.g., in a closed, conservative culture). It’s another thing to live a moral life in the midst of a sea of “immorality”. (I hate to use that term, because it is imprecise). You are yearning for a time when man had control over society. Sorry George, that time is gone, along with the backwardness and repression it entailed. My ancestors (farmers, “hillbillys”) lived in that time, and all I know is that they worked very hard to ensure that my grandfather got educated. Who ensured my father got educated. Who ensured I got educated. And I would never throw that education away because I know of the sacrifice of my ancestors. Rather, I would use that education (and the insight it provides) to regulate my life as best I can so that, hopefully, I don’t enter into a mode of life that leads to divorce. I find that to be far more robust a solution that what you’re proposing: a return to blissful ignorance.

    You know what happens to ignorant backwards people George? They get decimated by stronger smarter aggressive people. I don’t want to destroy others, but I don’t want to be destroyed either.

    That’s what happened to our ancestors when the Muslims and the Portuguese kicked our asses and destroyed our culture/religion. There is no way in hell that I want to become weak so as to allow some aggressor to destroy my way of life, if I can help it. I think all of these engineers and doctors and others are doing a good job: generating wealth, educating their kids, many of whom become intellectuals and apply their intellect to the study of things like our history.

    Do I care that some doctors/engineers/lawyers/prostitutes are living bad? No. Why? It’s their life. Let them do what they want. I’ll walk my own line.

    Regarding reformation… I don’t want reformation in religion because I believe that the old rites are closest to those of the Apostles and perhaps Jesus. I don’t want some Johnny-come-lately Protestant to come and tell me what is the right doctrine and the right rite. I’m Orthodox! My rites were around back when the Protestants were worshipping three-headed tree gods in Briton. They can go and stuff their reformation. It’s pollution.

    But for lifestyle … I want to live my own life. I can read the Bible, I can find out what’s right. I don’t want some dictator telling me what to do. Moreover, I believe that when we have total freedom, then making a good decision has merit. To use a crude, primitive, but illustrative example: who cares that all of our grandmothers were virgins back in the 1800s? *EVERYONE* was a virgin back then before marriage. It’s far more impressive to see a girl living on her own in a college away from home in a decadent city that’s still a virgin. (Not that I particularly care about this … it’s just an example).

    It’s no surprise that the Amish have a stable culture. But it’s also stagnant. Why don’t you try joining? You have the option George. You have many options. No need to fester in an unfortunate undesirable circumstance. Be proactive, change things. Join your brothers in a Kibbutz in Israel. But don’t tell them you’re a Messianic Jew or they’ll kick your heretic self out of there.

  29. John Mathew says

    Dear George,

    Regarding Doctors and Engineers … if they are really like that in Calgary, why don’t you take the piss out of them? After all, it’s no big deal to be an engineer anymore: they are a dime a dozen. And doctors are worse, often getting their degrees from substandard Caribbean schools… doctors in name only (with the malpractice to boot).

    But I’ve never met a doc / engineer who was top-heavy with status… Perhaps it’s a Calgary thing… But do you really think a bunch of men getting drunk while their wives slave away at some hospital, cleaning someone’s vomit … do you really think those HNN losers are admirable? Come on George, you’re a Protestant (effectively) — where’s the WASP work ethic! How can you defend these people?

    I have a relative whose an HNN. He’s scum. And knows less Syriac too 😉

  30. NJ says

    Dear BG

    “Schooling in India”- You can not compare the Eighties or Nineties syllabus with that of today. In India also you can not weigh with the students. You need to listen to their queries and doubts to believe what I am saying.

    I am not a fan of our post graduate colleges. I agree that it lack innovations. I am neither a fan of our IT people though I am one among them. It is the Indians who have benefited hugely in the IT wagon in terms of work and money. Did we make any positive contributions ? Not at all. We just have an Infy, the innovative cooking oil company wipro and few other outsourcing trams and IT professionals in thousands. We don’t have any good product company. Other than copying and re using the open sources did our IT processionals made any contributions to open source fraternity ? Glance through the different open source forum you hardly find Indians contributing. Oh. Yeah, you can see many of our top notch companies bandwidth used mostly for finding out open sources available. We are good in re-using not in contributing.

    Each year there are more than thousand innovative product or solution companies setting up. You don’t find Indians behind any of these. Look through some of the acquisition or bidding deals happens with VC’s this year. Look through the new companies which attracts attention for the last three years. I did not find any Indian names any where. You can see South Africans to Americans but not Indians.

    I neither think that the IT professionals are doing any complex work. May be some of them, but most of them are just in to low quality stuff. Glorifying IT is a meaning less exercise.

    Back to Nasranis- The prime movers term is not something I coined up. These are very well established facts. No one can question the contributions of Nasranis in the Kerala Model of development.

    May I suggest you to read about Palai Central Bank. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Palai_Central_Bank

    Although it was started in a small remote town, the Bank grew up to become not only the biggest bank but the biggest institution in Kerala, after the state Government, and the 17th largest among the 94 scheduled banks in India. It was ordered to be liquidated in 1960 by High Court on a petition moved by the Reserve Bank of India.

    There were and there are lot of Nasranis as entrepreneurs. If I start sharing you will say, shame less self promotion.

    When I say Nasranis has more options its not for glorifying or painting as Multi millionaire, its just ones advantage as being an early mover.

    On healthcare and educational institutions its another story. When India became Independent more than 60 % of these institutions were run by Christians. Its not ROI game those days.

    Btw, you did not share about the socializing communities from Kerala. I am interested in knowing more.

  31. BGfromNZ says

    Dear John
    But I don’t think this as an appropriate place to point one’s views on education. Don’t need to blow my whistle even then I can guarantee that some one with out an engineering or math background would take ages to learn a medium level coding with some mini modules of arithmetic or physics computation. Regarding nursing Bioscience, Introduction to Pharmacology, Human Anatomy and Physiology are the only three subject which need a minimum level of aptitude to learn, rest are social subjects. Ask a nursing lecturer, he would instantly accept that.

    Regarding PhD your views are true e.g. doctorate in Spirituality in ICU settings is much less complex than Geometric Modelling Of Skeletal Muscle Using Hermite Sector Elements, it’s exactly on what discipline its accomplished. Any way we will move on to other historic topics which may further reflect the objectives of the website.

    One more response to NJ’s domestic schooling;
    Laws in NZ and Australia
    Children are legally required to be enrolled at, and regularly attend, school between the ages of six and 16. Parents and caregivers can be prosecuted if they do not meet this requirement.

    About your last comment on education, I do have many kids of my siblings in top schools of kerala, I quiet often compare the syllabus, and I know how where my kids are moving. From year 4 they are regular participants of international exams like ICAS from university of south wales and a lot more…stepping towards Cambridge!

    NJ the chronicle about Indian IT is true, but the world outside is in reality more professional and product oriented.

  32. George Mathew says

    Dear John,

    When I say Doctors and Engineers, I ofcourse mean the ‘well healed’. This will include PhDs, CAs, business owners, lottery ticket winners, priests etc.. anybody who considers himself above the poor and the needy. I should have been clearer.

    These previlaged people run all the show and so get to write ‘HISTORY’. Real education should help us to understand what is true history. Sorry! I will still say that I find the HNN better and fun people to be with than the ‘previlaged’ people from CBSE or ICSC or Lovedale schools.

    We can’t oppose the previlaged. We have to lick the boots. If we swim against the current, society will brand us nuts/loosers. I tell you that the poor you see now are better humans than the rich. The rich became so by exploitation and cruelty. The poor became so because they had a heart. This is the general rule and is not applicable in all cases. When you have a heart, you give your wealth away and so your father has nothing to give you as inheritance.

    But then, your real heavenly father is watching……

  33. George Mathew says

    Dear John,
    As for doctors, I will say that you will rarely meet one who appears to put his nose into the air. This is because he has to show he is humane. This is part of the show to show that he is doing ‘Christ’s work’ and convinietly covering the fact that he or she is bleeding the poor.

    They appear so concerned about you that you almost believe him/her. Even at a young age parents put into the minds of their children the ambition to become doctors. There is a show of nobility and Christian caring, but the real intention is to make money. I know I appear to be very cynical, but judge for yourself.

    Ofcourse, there are hundreds of doctors who are very great people. I salute them, but they are a rare breed. Our Nasrani doctors do all kinds of greedy things and exploit the needy. They really have no conscience. Their hearts are too calloused for Christ.

  34. John Mathew says

    Hi George,

    I understand what you are saying. However, I must admit that the manner in which you present it makes it difficult to see initially! (Or maybe I’m just slow).

    But I will say one thing: many of the things you wrote apply to people regardless of where they live. There are plenty of mentally/spiritually-diseased Nasrani’s back in Kerala too. To say that bringing one’s kids to the West makes them diseased was what I disagreed with. And there are plenty of great people (Nasrani and not) in the West.

    I think living in the west can be a good thing … it confers a lot of mental and financial freedom, which enables one to pursue his intellectual interests to a greater degree than in a third world country. If my parents had remained in Kerala I’m fairly certain I would: a) not give a damn about Orthodox/Nasrani history, b) not know or care to know Syriac, and c) not have the same interests I have now. So I will continue to dispute your belief that coming to the West guarantees corruption.

    Personally, I think the docs/engineers coming out of India (out of the Church-ran schools no less) are some of the more corrupt and incompetent people to ever enter those professions; and I think the opposite is often true of the people coming out of the West.

  35. George Mathew says

    Dear Mathew,

    ‘Pursue of intellectual interests’.

    Most of our educated people who come to Canada do ‘Security Work’ or work in Wal-Mart or do some junior Accounting work. Doctors from India are working as sales people in Sears. Very very few of us get a chance to pursue our interests. Very very few. A freind who has been in Canada for about 20 years says that ‘Only the worthless from India will come to Canada’.

    Please admit the fact that you are being discriminated in Canada. You do not stand a chance of being a leader in Canada. will accept you, not because your skin is black or brown but because you are not Canadin enough. If you talk about your ‘great Syrian Christian heritage in Canada, your employer or colleauges will only mark you down as the next casualty to go out of the company’. They want Canadians and not Malabaris.

    I am now nearly two years in Canada and I am yet to see an Indian in a leadership role. Please tell me that I am wrong.

    On of the painful scenes I have seen in Canada was a Iyer Brahmin Engineer from Chennai who came to Canada on a Job Visa. He cursed all the Indians in Canada for misinforming all in India that Canada is the land of dreams. HIs main point was ‘These Indian ?#$%^* do low status jobs here and report back to India that they are heading departments or companies etc.. and me a fool believed all this and now I find myself ruled and kicked about by Canadian women in my office.

    Canada is indeed a land of ‘Law and order’ but there is a low glass ceiling above which you or me cannot cross. This is as far as your ‘Pursuit of Intellectual Interests’ go. I totally disagree with your view on this. Please do not point out Codolisa Rice or Collin Powell.

    A PhD in human phsyciology from Kerala Univiersity is now doing almost janatorial work or low sales work in a supermarket here. Some of the Canadian girls who work with her can not even spell in English which is their mother tounge.


  36. George Mathew says

    Dear John,
    I think I misread something in your comment. . If intellectual interests mean something outside your job, then my above writing is not a suitable reply to your comment.

    I do agree with you that financially we are better off here than in India or even in the Gulf , hence we can use the time and energy to pursue our personal intellectual interests. No argument on that. Sorry for the error if I had made so.

  37. George Mathew says

    Dear John,

    You love to say that Marthomites are Protestants. I am sure we are not but I will admit that there will be some or even many who will foolishly say squaring their chests that ‘Yes, we are Protestants’.These are the guys who will fall in your catergory of the ‘uneducated’.

    I am really not angry but actually smiling as I write this. You know very well that we Marthomites are wanting to follow first century Christianity and not any western group. The Marthoma Church is your sister church, and so even if we stray towards Protestantism, it is your business to help us return to our orthodox Syrian Christain fold.

    Often, many Roman Catholics blast the Roman Catholic Church. I almost always go to the defence of the Roman Catholic Church. I see in her a church where the Holy Spirit is indeed working.. You may however freely blast the ‘Jehowahs Witnesses’ . They call our faith in Yeshua as part of the Godhead as false. I have often noticed that the Muslims love the Jehowahs Witness and consider them alone as true Christians.

  38. John Mathew says

    Hi George,

    Yes, I love to say you are Protestants … and personally, my view is, the Mar Thomite Church is not a “sister church” of mine, but a schism … if anything, it’s a prodigal son that went with the missionaries. And if they wish to split, so be it. I’m not going to argue this point any more, because there’s no point. If the Mar Thomites wanted to become first century Christians then they ought to invest in learning some theoretical physics so a time machine could be constructed, because there’s really no way we can uncover what “first century Christianity” really was. The closest thing? The Orthodox Church or the Church of the East. And next to that, Roman Catholicism.

    Regarding Canada. Yes, Canada can be brutal for people who were not born there. I was, and so I have less problems (i.e., my degrees were from Canadian schools and English is my first language, so most of the barriers faced by immigrants are not faced by me). I have no illusions, however. I personally don’t care about who my leaders are: mainly because I don’t acknowledge anyone’s leadership. I do my thing, I make my money, I study my stuff and that is that. Regarding my Syriac Christian heritage, so what? There are many “exotic” peoples in Canada with fascinating histories — no one cares about this, nor should they. My heritage is my heritage; I don’t expect someone else to care about it.

    It’s funny, some Indians like to look in the mirror and see some white skin or claim that their ancestors had white skin — when you can cross the street and see a prostitute or a drug dealer with far more whiter skin. The point? Our heritage (Jewish, Syriac, White, Aryan, Dravidian, Greek, whatever) is meaningless since there is sh*t in every class, caste and ethnic group! I can go and say I’m a Syriac Christian and point back to some great Syriac Christians, but then my buddy can point to some nasty Syriac Christian losers and associate me with them.

    And finally, yes, a lot of people from third world countries come to Canada. They have no right to complain about getting poor jobs — it’s their decision to come in the first place. If they merely listened to the rambling of some janitor, too bad — that was their decision, and they were duped. My father is a very highly educated man, who never got to work in his area of skill after coming to Canada. But unlike these ingrates who come now and complain, my father realized the great opportunity to raise and educate his sons to a very high degree. And that is what he did.

    So … although I sympathize with the plight of new immigrants who can’t work in their area of expertise, my rational, unemotional side says: either suck it up and take it, or leave. Or, if you’re smart, exploit your situation to the best degree possible. Realize that every place has pros and cons, and exploit whatever pro your place has.

    Sorry for the terse reply, but I’m a little busy. Please don’t be offended by my tone (I know you won’t care!)—I respect you George, you’re honest, and I firmly believe you’re a better person than I.

  39. BGfromNZ says

    Dear NJ

    “contributions of Nasranis in the Kerala Model of development” – prime movers!

    Once called the richest nation in the world by the world traveler Marco Polo (13 th century) Malabar, present day Kerala, is today a suicidal center. It has always been presumed that the flow of the trade between Rome and India lasted from BC through to the end of the 1st Century AD, but that there is growing evidence that this trade continued much longer, into the 6th and early 7th Century. So if we examine the development and trade progression, unfortunately it was in the reverse track after the 8th century and of course till this moment. We could also see an alarming growth of Christianity after the decline of trade and the subsequent entry of Portuguese. The product of your prime movement as far as I know is industrial backwardness coupled with unemployment which is the worst in India. It was the technologically backward structure of the Kerala industry for the last numerous centuries which caused this low labour productivity and minimal forward and backward linkages that retarded the industrial development of kerala.

    I presume that the movers you mentioned were more into molding the evolution and composition of their ancestry or had its own inner rumblings of rebellion against the rigid laws of the earlier traditional and conservative nature of Christianity. This may have in turn directed them to be more egotistical to acquire possessions and wealth (land encroachments and many unfair acts to attain riches) which is still now cherished and measured in the community. Perceptibly this could have brought the deadly and pathetic end to a first century rich trading state. I still deem kerala to be God’s own country, just because the almighty is holding all those overseas workers and families in their respective countries. Imagine if millions pop back without a livelihood due to some unexpected immigration law, theft and murder is the only way out. Mean while we can be proud on health but honestly not on literacy. Scribbling name and address does not constitute literacy. First confirm with a university graduate in kerala to know his literacy…

    “There is nothing amusing for lot of people being in Healthcare especially Nurses. May be you can research to get the number and percentages of hospitals run by Nasrani’s in India and especially in Kerala”
    James’s father (Joseph) is a parish worker (kappiar). Jame’s sister marry failed in BA and a brother hardly passed B.com. Joseph sold 30 cents of his church presented land for a meager amount and sends the siblings for general nursing. Marry is now in Ireland and the brother in Canada and Joseph erected a decent little bunglow in irinjalakuda. James is my friend and is an accountant in Auckland.

    If I want to be in the midst of friends of my faith I may have to be in such a grouping occasionally encountering squat key attitudes and towing. But sometimes it’s nice a feeling as George Mathew mentioned. Hospitals are run by entrepreneur doctors or investors. So the above mentioned are not the category that cherishes nurses who never want to work for them or either in India. Furthermore some one doesn’t admire nursing for its dignity or value as well. Just to conclude on this, the story of ‘JOSEPH the parish worker’ would be more an appropriate tale with some exception in migration modes and ease of movement.

    I don’t feel commenting on your home schooling.

  40. BGfromNZ says

    Dear George
    You views regarding immigrants are right. But as John mentioned we chose to come, accordingly we have to carry out something, either hang around for the kids or take off. Other point I have to mention is even if your first language is English or your qualification was in the same country, that doesn’t make a huge distinction in a country other than your origin. As long as you don’t scrounge a native dead body (of your age and physic) of that country and craft it live through some holy acts, there will be some level of alienism throughout. Also rulers of these industrial countries have minimum brains and would by no means issue copper plates or provide special privileges to felicitate our arrival. I recently overheard my kids chatting about brown and white skin (they are born in NZ). It was a burning thought for me for few days, but did find a solution later justified myself for the reason that we opted to live here for a healthier cause. Normally when an university clash breaks out the Asians(NZ born Asians)are the first to be targeted, New Zealand being one of the most peaceful and anti-racist nation in the world.

    If elected the primary observation about Obama is “black president” rather than “president of America”. Term multiculturalism is only a smokescreen to a concealed and upright humane slaughter by virtue of race and colour. Injustice and inequality exists as long as there are black – white, tall -short and ugly – beautiful paradoxical pairs. On the whole if one can triumph over all these it’s really an achievement of some one from an underdeveloped, caste oriented and prejudiced place like God’s own country, great!

  41. George Mathew says

    Dear John,

    There is an old saying ‘It takes a village to make a boy grow up with values’. Meaning, your family is not enough to raise you well. YOu need the plumber, the farmer, the policeman, the politician, the beggar etc.. Here in Canada or in the west, we don’t have this. But I am often told that the small towns of Canada still have values. I believe and hope so.

    I have no hope that my son or his children (if God wills) will have the richness of heritage that my father and my family bequeathed upon me. Passover is comming and I have told my wife to call home in Kerala and find out all that is to be done for the Passover. I never cared for Passover in Kerala but here I realize the value of traditions. Fortunately for me, I have seen traditions and their impact/results. Many Nasranis do not have so..

    Unless we are together in sizable numbers, we can’t continue with tradtions. The Sikhs are in sizable numbers in Calgary and many of them are loyal to their faith. But we Nasranis and our children have very poor loyalty to our traditions. The Nasrani parents themselves do not themselves know about our traditions. Someone said a few days ago in our form that ‘where ever there are 10 Nasranis there will be an association’. Well, this is true only for fresh Nasranis arriving from Kerala or the Middle East. Not for Nasranis born or raised in the West.

    I always admire the Jews,Sikhs and the Muslims for their loyalty to their faith. We all are following the west.

  42. George Mathew says

    Dear John,

    I hope to go back to India as soon as possible. But if Israel gives me a visa or citizenship I will go there (I trust and hope so). I seem to be the only Nasrani having this passion to go back to Israel. In my heart I believe that the Nasrani is the ‘truest and complete Jew’. Ofcourse, the Jews will not accept me.
    It is not who others think I am but whom I think I am.

    John, Passover/Easter is comming, keep all traditions. Traditions should be the joy in your life. . Remember it is the God given previlage for us men to be the spiritual head of our families. Use this. Throw out through your window that crap about 50:50. You are the head of the family and you got to love her and she has to be your helpmate in your life. If you don’t do this, the Nasrani way of life which we are now seeking will be lost.

    Ampravail Achayan said he will give us ‘receipes’ for Passover/Easter. So far no message from him and so a poltie reminder to him.

    Don’t run away form the Marthoma-Protestant matter. As I may have told you earlier, Yes! I am Marthomite, yet more than Marthomite, I am a Nasrani. My Marthoma loyalty is subject to being first a Nasrani.
    The Protestant Churches have acheived great things too. However, she is now having very serious problems. We have to help her.

  43. John Mathew says

    Dear George,

    I’m sorry but I strongly disagree with your viewpoint. One’s parents are all one has in this world. Even in India, in the final analysis, it is only one’s parents who truly love you and want you to succeed. I’ve been back home many times, and I’ve seen the backstabbing and the family politics. However, perhaps it is just my family in Kerala that is corrupt; perhaps you are right and India is paradise where familial love abounds. But I’ll give you my story. I grew up in a place far from any Orthodox Church—hell, far from any Malayalis! Yet, I remember from a young age, my mother (a Mar Thomite, ironically) teaching me about St. Mary and Mar Gregorios. And my father would instruct me on Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, etc. That stuff stayed with me George. Even though I never knew an ounce of Malayalam growing up, I knew my culture. And when I moved to a place with an Orthodox Church, I never went to the B.S. sunday schools or youth organizations. I knew who I was and didn’t need some dolt instructing me on his/her distorted perspectives—that is the problem with a community, George, you get input from every mentally defective reject out there. Anyways, I married a Malayali wife (from the Fatherland) so that I could continue living in this manner.

    Anyways, the point is: I think it is a severe human defect to rely on one’s community. It does *not* take a village to raise a child; one’s parents are more than enough. In fact, that is why I’ve always respected my Malayali heritage—the strong individualism. Or perhaps this is only my family’s culture?

    On the other hand, I’ve never had any respect for cultures that have a herd mentality. George, perhaps you should have some faith that your sons will continue in your ways. Perhaps you should see the world in a more positive light; even if it is all shit, at least try to fix things for yourself and your family, rather than complain. As a friend, I’m being serious here: lighten up. Everything is not all bad. Even some westernizations are okay! Especially things like creativity, individualism, having lone opinions — actually these aren’t westernizations! India has a long history of revolutionary ideas that challenge the status quo; many westernizations are in that tradition.

    Anyways, one can maintain one’s culture without a community. You don’t need some B.S. “association” and you don’t need a bunch of like minded individuals. You just need yourself, your wife, your kids. And some thick skin, persistence, …

    And finally, I don’t agree with your perspective on “fresh Nasranis” from Kerala/Mid East as being people who maintain the culture. The one’s I’ve met have been quite unimpressive, and believe me, we have a lot of Gulf Malayalis in Toronto … They may know more Malayalam than I, but they know very little about our civilization and culture. Most of them (again, the one’s I’ve met) are extreme materialists… but then again, this is only based on my experience. In most places in Canada and the US, it was the old generation of immigrant Malayalis who built up the various organizations and churches, etc, *not* the new ones. If many members of the new generation (of which I guess I’m a member) seem screwed up, it’s probably because their parents, priests, etc, screwed them up. It’s not because of the West… it’s because their parents didn’t do a good enough job in providing a good example, or they relied on someone else (e.g., the church or the priests, etc) to do the job—not realizing that NO ONE ELSE actually gave a crap.

    Remember that George … no one else gives a crap about you or your kids. Not even your bloody association, and certainly not other Nasranis or the various “priests” (in quotes because, honestly, the priests we have nowadays couldn’t hold a light to the great ones of old … ) or clergy.

  44. George Mathew says

    Dear John,

    I am sad to ‘know’ that only our parents do really care for us. But you will be sadder to know that we live in a ‘imperfect world’ where several times our own parents turn against us. I am ofcourse not writing from my family history.

    There are 1000s of cases where parents have failed their children. Dysfunctional families, drunken father, rapists father, bi-polar mother, bad tempered parents, lazy paretns, godless parents and the list goes on an on…. Often the children grow up to be ‘just like’ the parents. I see this happen over and over again. That is why in Kerala, employers often ask about the family details of the employee candidates. I would certainly do it.

    We can’t entrust the childs future into the hands of ‘weak parents’ and we need to expose our children to values/ethics/virtues etc. which we do not have. Remember the ‘gurukulams’ of Kerala/India where children at an young age were sent to gurus for training in all things in life.

    The more we expose our children to their uncles/aunts, cousins, grandparents, kith/kin the better it is. The chances of them growing up ‘normal’ is very much there. In spite of all the evil in the world, there are still good people. You will have to look for them and when found, present your children to them.

    . If you are close to your sisters/brothes, then the message you effectively give to your children is to ‘be close to each other’. Unless you show them how to by laying down ‘seeable examples’, they would fail to love each other.

    I don’t think you can raise children in any good way other than above.

  45. George Mathew says

    Dear John,

    In the heart of ‘Western Culture’ lies pragmatism. We Indians are ‘dogmatic’. These two can not meet.

    Do you know that atleast 30% of the taxi drivers in Qatar slog for years (seperated from their families) only to raise dowry money so as to marry off their sisters. This is what India is all about. The west does not have this. It focuses only on the self. It is always ‘my pleasure’, my future, my life etc.. it is never ‘us’.

    Life is too shallow in the west. It was George Stevenson’s steam engine which propelled the west into dizzying heights.Now that initial advantage is gone and we are now in a ‘level playing field’. Technology and wealth covered up a lot of weakness of the west. But now, they can’t cover it for long. Their weakness is showing, first and foremost by the collapse of their families and their loose godless lives.

    Senseless India seems to march the western way. It is to avoid such a disaster as the west is undergoing now, that all this NSC forum is all about. We have to strengthen our heriage, culture, religion etc..so that we leave to our children a meaningful present and future.

  46. George Mathew says

    Dear John,

    I think you believe I am someone ‘inside’ NSC. I am in no way different from you. I too stumbled into NSC.
    You seem very different from other Malabaris born and raised in Canada/USA. The ones I know who are born and raised in N.America are very different from you. They are totally shorn of Indianess.
    Rememebr, westernism has no place for God or religions. These are effectively removed from almost places.

    With no religion and God to hold together family, community, country etc. the structure is falling. Have you not noticed that spouces/partners are often chosen based upon ‘biological matchng’ rather than anything at a spiritual level. The system is not going to improve for a long time, because the very people who are entrusted with improving living conditions in the west of the her citizens, themselves avoid acknowledging religion and God.

  47. augustine sebstian says

    nasrani’s are everywhere but their is no social network, they are isolated despite their good positions name and fame, why don’t you organise a dictionary of the nasranis with their names & addresses all over the world to have a say in national & inter national politics as most of them mhave good political connections all over the world.

    we are different like maggi sauce with different tastes but one common heritage and genetic background lets say we are different from the rest, the white man was a savage when we were civilized christians in different parts of the world at a given common time in history till date no one can beat the best of both the worlds the new & the old. get the flock together with one common aim, have a say or get lost in the pages of history as every one else. write to augustine sebastian, keleston shimla 171001 h.p. india- Email- [email protected]

  48. George Mathew says

    Dear Augustine,
    I may sound very cynical, but I call myself a ‘realist’. Your statement that the Nasranis are in good positions and have good political connections is pure ‘imagination of the mind’. I am in Canada and I am yet to see one Nasrani in that positions. You have missed the mark very much.

    The truth is that the Nasrani can not become a person of any positon in the West or in the Gulf. You may hear about Nasrani being ‘the right hand man of Sheikh Abdul Jabber of Kuwait/Dubai/Saudi etc. or a leading sceintist in NASA. It is more often hype than reality.

    I hate to write this, but you must know the truth and not the hype.

  49. Benny says

    Dear guys
    now we can see nasranis all around the world . but they dont know each other
    because they are far away from their heritage . if we not gain our lost heritage we cannot become
    unify . without unification we cannot survive .because we are scattering in all parts of the world .
    why should we scatter all over the world .select some better destinations and try to migrate only to that destinations . and keep our feets better rooted in kerala .
    only through unification we will get a good leadership ,which can lead the people to a better future
    we should learn from the formation of european union . that they decide to be united to reign teir lost dominance in the world . they studied well from the past

  50. BGfromNZ says

    Dear Benny
    Your aspirations are worth a thought, whilst circumstances do not perceive anyone to follow suite. What was the great heritage which unified the community for the last 2000 years? Please don’t mention about the leaderships, it’s horrifying and sickening. And it’s a well established reality about the scattered life of not only Christians but every single community in kerala, struggling for a survival. I just wonder how we can select destinations for nasranis. Bro finding employment with our wrecked English and squat tertiary qualification coupled with a third world origin is a nightmare. Comparing the community with European Union is bit paranoid. Benny you vision is so great but remember it shouldn’t end up in an emotional constipation. It is extremely evident that the presence of obsession, fascination or anything of the like has horrendous penalties – some of which might even last a lifetime especially when the tentacles you are dealing with are a bit odd and egocentric. But wish your delusion be materialized.

  51. John Mathew says

    Dear Benny,

    There might be one benefit to having our community scattered: survival. For example, look at the Assyrians in Mesopotamia. There were all concentrated in their beloved homeland (as they should be, from all pictures I’ve seen it really is a nice place) — but then, when their enemies decided to obliterate them, their geographical localization to one area made them easy prey.

    Now, it’s probably not the case that a similar genocide will happen to our community … but you never know. Any kind of calamity can come up.

    And in the final analysis, it is the trend of human beings to spread out, disperse, and do different things. Nasranis — being humans after all — are followers of that trend as much as any community.

    Finally, if there’s one lesson from history that we can see in the Nasrani saga, it’s that relying on one’s leaders is a foolish strategy, since it was our leaders (Orthodox/Catholic/Protestant) that screwed our community up by allowing the degradation of our culture and heritage …

  52. George Mathew says

    Dear Benny, BG and John,

    The members of the ‘Church of the East’, ie. our brothers the Persian Nasranis are concentrated in Chicago under the spiritual leadership of Dinka Thirumeni. So your hope for the Malabari Nasranis to be together in one place in not new. However, there is one problem, The Persians were terribly persecuted and I bet they came to the US as refugees and they would have got a lot of support from the Prebystrian Church as that particular church was very fond of the Persian Nasranis.

    It was terrible persecution that drove them towards the shore of the US but alas we do not have an engine to drive us like that. We had and continue to have a very good time in Kerala and India.

    Also you must not be too romantic or naive in believing that we Nasranis are good guys. Many of us are bad people. Many don’t care a damn for anything other than money. You are well aware of the ‘Enniku Korchu Korchu Malayalam Ariyam’ culture amongst us. That is, we denounce our own culture. Some Nasranis in the Americas will turn their heads the other way when they see us near their work places. They do not want to acknowledge that we are their kith/kin in front of the ‘white folks’. We have a long way to go.

    I think there wil have to come persecution so that the real Nasranis will be segregated from the false ones.

  53. George Mathew says

    Dear Benny,

    European Union

    If you look deep into World War 2, you will find that an important element was money. It was the German Industrialists who lent Hitler the support in material terms so that they the industrialists will become stornger. It was and is the same thing with todays US govt. In the US the giant corporations tell Bush what and what not to do.

    What Germany wanted through the front door during the Second World War, Germany wants now through the back door. Nothing much has changed. Only the approach is more subtle. Germany is the most important country backing the Europen Union and she is today using backdoor methods for Indusrail and economic gains.

    Hence be please be careful when you start taking the ‘Eruopean Union’ as a model. Read between the lines and above all things find out who is the father of the child. Things have not stopped since the end of the second world war. The show will go on and on.

    I will dare to say that India has a great future because she was fathered by Gandhi. It is not her ‘soft ware’ skills’ or her ‘medical skills’ that will help her, but the simple historic fact that a giant like Gandhi fathered the nation. Yahoweh can’t let down Gandhi.

  54. Jack says

    Sir George, I agree with your views as posted in ur second last post that the True Nasranis need to be segregated from the false ones, like sheep from goat. This is in fact true for the entire Christian Church.

    The segregation has already begun If we read the omens carefully. The ones who are chosen, indeed will understand the signs been shown by Yahweh and turn back to Him. The rest is the chaff separated from the grain. Yahweh alone knows His plan best as we see it unfold.

  55. Benney says

    Dear jack ,
    I agree with you
    Without Yahweh we cannot make a single step

  56. Prakash J says

    In EU muslims migrate in thousands from turkey,middle east etc to EU main lands and their madrassas teached to overbreed hence to take over Caucausian Christian(even if they call Atheists) by as near as in 2030’s.

    Do,we Suriyani Christians do need to face the same ? think about it!

    I have seen many families esp in kotayam,pala etc with one child.this is the first step towards us being future proof!

    Now…I dont want us to be considered as legacy by other communities. 🙁

    Only Ezhava’s and Muslims are going to be there in kerala after a decade or so 🙁 we will be really a very small minority by that time!now itself communist party dont care for us as,we are less in number!
    afterall number is what controls everything!

    also,we DONT need to care about population control by india government.
    we pioneered the population control from 1960’s..now we are facing extinction while Moslems(esp Malabar Moplah’s) dont care and are flourishing.

    To quote,even Bible says “If your population decreased,it is the first sign of your extinction”

  57. George Mathew says

    Dear Prakash,

    I have only one child but to my son I have told him to have as many children as possible. I see your point but I am also very well aware of a spiritual/Christian side to this issue.

    Remember, we Christians are not part of this world (I know I sound very impractical). If our faith is geniune we will not look to our population for strength. Our forefather King David took a census of his people and Yahoweh did not like that.

    Thousand and thousand of Israelites died because David subconsciously relied on his countrymens’s numerical strength and not on God’s strength. Our strength and protection should be on God and not on numerical strength. What David did was something which every king would do, yet God did not approve of David’s conduct. Please try to read about this in the Bible.

  58. Benney says

    If we want to see nasrani community as a part of history ,ok let us do family planning after one / two child or not even marry.
    God will give results if we do something from our part
    “God will take away the one thalanth from the lazy guy and give it to the smart guy who have 10 thalanths ”
    In any where in the bible god ask his people not to prodice offsprings .he only like to see them flourish than others
    i dont want to see my cammunity like christians in the middle east begging for mercy from the other peoples
    be brave to have more children

  59. George Mathew says

    Dear Benney,

    Desire to share some point with you. Having a small family is often not just based upon ‘economical issues’ like low income but also based upon the health and well being of the child. In the olden days when the joint family existed, a ‘mentally or physically’ challenged child born into a family did get some/needed attention to live by. There were grandparents, aunts, servants, cousins etc. who would contribute in their own way to raise the child.

    These days the norm is the ‘nuclear family’. Aged Appachens and Amachies or relatives have no more a place. This place is occupied by freinds and to be specific, it is by peers whose freindship they desire in office or business.

    The Women folk being more intelligent in tihis matter knows too well that if she delivers a ‘challenged child’ the nuclear family can not handle the situation. The office or business peer would be useless in this situation. Most often it is the ‘she’ who decides ‘no more children’. This all boils down to the issue of ‘poor values and tradtions in the family’.

    Our present materialistic lifestyle can not produce children. IT IS IALMOST MPOSSIBLE to raise 7 children in Mumbai or Toronto and if one of more of the chldren are handicapped, then the situation is very bad. There is often no solution other than to suffer alone.

    One way to have more children is to go back to our heritage. As earlier stated by me on two occassions, the only solution is to return to farming. Proffessions like Engineering, Medicene, Accounting, business all work against having a larger family or work against our Nasrani traditions. I am saying this in all seriousness.

    Our older and past generations failed to realize this. My father was one of the senior engineers of India and he was deeply in love with this proffession. In his sunset years he realized along with some other people of his age and background that farming is the only way out to maintian the family and traditions.

    I was strongly holding to this view much earlier to him but he refused to agree with me as he was passionately in love with engineering.

    While he/they built the ‘Temples of Modern India’ like dams, townships, railways, they failed to realise the humble but very important proffession of farming. Too late, damage has already been done, it is not easy now for me/him to return to farming. In the early days and even today, those who did farming were considered less progressive or ‘unlucky’.

    To conclude, my most sincere advise to you is to try return to farming, therein you can raise a much better and larger family and have your ‘Nasrani’ way of life. Anthing else is FUTILE and USELESS.

    The greatest resistance you may find will be from our own womenfolk who would refuse to have chicken poo stuck on their feet or farm dirt in between their pretty finger nails.

    If you are still unmarried, find yourself a wife who loves farming. If our Nasrani women do not change, then within 30 years they will finds themselves in the same position that western women are now in.

  60. Benney says

    Dear George achaya,
    I am not of the view that our professional bros will produce as much as they can .but i think they can afford 3 . ,and wealthy farmer or business guys can afford more than that .but hey afraid that their wealth is divided between more kids .My father have 3 , 1girl and 2 boy he is not a farmer only a small business guy . i am 27 and if god allows want to marry in the near future .if persons afraid of birth of handicapped children ,they have no eligibility to marry .because marriage is full of risks . “a ship is always safe when it is in the sea shore ,but it is not for that it is bult for ”
    this is aquote by Albert instein when some asks him about marriage

  61. George Mathew says

    Dear Benny,

    There is no point in numbers, what is important is ‘quality’. We need strong Nasranis with the spirit of Yahoweh burning in their hearts.

    Having a handicapped person in the family is no small matter. It is often a tragedy. Most of us marry without understanding what are the issues involved or decide to cross the bridge when we reach it. Both are wrong.

    One should marry having the strength before hand to face ‘any situation’. This is not seen amongst us. Often a gamble is made.

    Please do not associate the ‘farming’ I mentioned with ‘wealthy farmers’. My farming may not even give you the income to buy and maintain a Bajaj autorickshaw for your own personel use. It is practically very very difficult to be a farmer as I have said.

    In reality the concept of ‘wealthy farmer’ is very rare in Kerala, but possible in Punjab and Andhra etc..

  62. Sunny Aanoly says

    Dear admin/friends,
    I am sorry for repeating an issue I referred at this columns earlier but with little interest/response from members.
    It’s a well known fact that Nasrani heritage is in the doldrums with the slow but the almost sure extinction of our race. (Opposite opinions with valid reasons are most welcome for members academic studies).
    It is sure the Hierarchy alone cannot reverse the path to self destruction.

    Laymen believers have a very constructive roll to avert it, in matters like birth control etc. which is one major reason.
    But we, the laymen at large are not just bother about this critical issue.(due to many reasons)
    Why don’t we use this subject as a subheading inviting opinions from all to study and initiate action based on the gist of those opinions ?

    I request Admin to take initiative on this subject to re-route synergies of Nasranis on constructive purpose and to pave way to arouse Nasrani brotherhood irrespective of the various Churches they are members of. No Hierarchy will put objection to this noble cause.
    Though difficult, it may do wonders to unite the divided Nasranis under a common Forum/Movement/Church.
    Laymen only can initiate such united forum. There are opinions that the above will never happen.
    But history proven many times that things thought will never happen happened on bold initiatives and positive, intentional hardwork.
    I request opinion of Admin and all positive thinking Nasranis in this issue.
    Its not for my glory, but His.
    Thanks to all.

  63. George Mathew says

    Dear Sunny,

    I do agree that we must all come under one ‘umbrella’. Before that, we must know ourselves. Was it not the great Socrates who said ‘Man! first know yourself’.

    Now that we have more or less established that we are of Jewish/Hebrew heritage, where do we go from here? Do we start wearing the Star of David or the Tallit or start planning to rebuilt our Nasrani temple on the ‘Temple Mount’ in Jerusalem or celebrate Hannakah and strict Kosher?

    Our next step is ‘where do we go from here’. Our individual churches can not lead us into our Nasrani heritage. Our churches are simply not deseigned for this. Honestly, I believe that our churches will sympathize with us and nod their heads but their hands will be tied because of church doctrines and traditions.

    If you visualize a ‘Nasrani’ heritage without a Jewish/Hebrew paternity, then it is a lost cause. The Nasrani now can not take one step forward without his ‘Jewish/Hebrew’ father supporting him. Farming is part of the answer, but it does not give a spiritual answer. .

    All these years, we have neglected our father, now we have reached the end of the rope (read, our past wrong efforts to be independent of our heritage – The classic Prodigal Son).

    Sunny! please comment on my above. I know Jackson, Ampravil Achayan and some others will agree with me to an extend, but upto what extend?

  64. Admin says

    Dear George

    Knowing ourselves is not just about first century. We have a time frame of 2000 years.

    In my opinion, we need to develop better tolerance level and brotherhood among all the denominations. Because of the existing divisions, denomination based history and compartmentalized moves it can only be achieved by a proper look at the various arguments around history of our existence and denominations. It would be a painstaking effort and research but definitely would build brotherhood.

    There should be a major effort from the lay for the protection of our oriental traditions. Talking about heritage and legacy would be useless if we cant protect the remains of what we have.

    In 1994, Assyrian Church Patriarch Mar Dinkha IV and Chaldean Patriarch Raphael I Bidawid signed a Joint Patriarchal Statement that committed their two churches to working towards reintegration and pledged cooperation on pastoral questions such as the drafting of a common catechism, the setting up of a common seminary in the Chicago-Detroit area, the preservation of the Aramaic language, and other common pastoral programs between parishes and dioceses around the world.

    Hopefully, we might see our denominations working together based on these examples in future. Our Judeo heritage is an added responsibility to preserve our Oriental traditions.

  65. Admin says

    Dear Sunny

    Dwindling numbers is surely an overall concern. Although numbers is a concern, I tend to believe that it has nothing great to do with protecting our heritage based on what’s happening around us. With the realistic calculation, today we should be between 5-7 millions. Like John Mathew suggested we wont become extinct easily. More than protecting heritage, numbers matter in getting political soaps for the community and leadership. If we advance in numbers does that assure our patrimony and ancient tradition, heritage are going to be protected ?

    What’s happening around during the positive growth trend indicates the other way.

    The following is a quote from “Mar Toma Nazrani Spirituality” written by Fr. Varghese Pathikulangara, CMI.

    “The East Syriac liturgical heritage is, in fact, a gold mine (A. Mikloshazy, East Syriac Eucharistic Pneumatology, Roma 1968, pp.8-9) and among the Christian heritages, it is the most akin to the Indian situation, precisely because it was moulded partially through the influence of ancient cultures in India. Of course, isolated individuals have made several researches in this field; but the Syro-Malabar Church as the responsible heir of this heritage, is yet to dare it wholeheartedly and enthusiastically. Compromised and accommodated solutions will have no lasting effect. Opinions, suggestions and the like are good and needed; but deeper and unbiased studies are essential and really needed. To my limited experience, vast majority within the Syro-Malabar Church and outside her lack such deeper study. We need not turn to or accuse anybody for this special, and I dare to say, pathetic situation of the Syro-Malabar Church. Through the long years of, almost five centuries, western and Latin influence and over domination, and especially of priestly and religious formation, this Church has almost lost her “Oriental Ethos”. By trying to find out some compromised solution for one or two problems, nobody can contribute to lasting and organic growth of this Church. It is the duty of the leaders of the Church to lead the faithful to her genuine ‘ethos’. They must take serious effort to imbibe fully the authentic ecclesial ethos, live it fully by themselves, give proper and clear guidance to the faithful and encourage them by all means to grow in that. This is, in fact, the desire and request of second Vatican Council and this is a must, not an option.”

    This is what a very well respected intellectual of the largest Thomasine church has to say. Situation is very similar or more worst in all the other denominations. It indicate that with a positive growth rate, we are not seeing an oriental ( east and west) revival in our churches.

    There was and a continuing slow positive growth before we enter the negative cycle in 2021. I read your earlier comments on the same topic and Dr. K.C. Zachariah’s book.

    Our history shows that unlike costal settler communities, we moved rapidly in to pepper growing regions. We settled in riverine and backwater trading centers such us Kottayam, Palai, Thiruvalla, Angamaly etc.

    In 1503, the Chaldean prelate reported that 30,000 St. Thomas Christian families are in Malabar country and in 1653, the group was said to number 200,000.

    By early Sixteenth Century many Syrians owned large tracts of pepper growing land near Kollam and in the hinterland area around Kayamkulam ( H.Yule, Durate Barbosa) . Large number of Syrians also continued to trade in port towns as traders, ship owners and pepper brokers of Cochin, Kayamkulam and Kodungaloor ( Gouvea)

    We later on moved to cash cropping. In “The Decline of Nayar Dominance: Society and Politics in Travancore, 1847-1908” Robin Jeffrey remarks “Syrians possessed entrepreneurial skills and an individualistic spirit hence their move in to cash cropping and plantation agriculture later.”

    These days the concentration is on developing better human resources with dwindling numbers.

    It is for sure a major concern both for the leadership and lay. The challenge is more politically. I think here leadership of the churches has to play their role. I heard about the initiative from St George church, Aruvithura to give educational scholarship to children who are from a family having 4 or more children. Such positive initiatives has to be taken by leadership. We have a good number of demolition maniacs in every church who look for pulling down old churches to construct giant structures. If they spend the money for constructive activities we can come out of this.

    In fact in his book, Dr. K.C. Zachariah suggested some options which has been discussed in forums.

  66. sunny alanoly says

    Dear Admin,
    I am really happy to note you too take the issue of ‘Path of extinction of Nasranis’ seriously and I agree with all points said but I beg to disagree on below points with due respect for you for promoting this site, to discuss Nasrani heritage related issues:

    1. “Like John Mathew suggested we wont become extinct easily. More than protecting heritage, numbers matter in getting political soaps for the community and leadership. If we advance in numbers does that assure our patrimony and ancient tradition, heritage are going to be protected ?”

    No, it is not for political or organizational mileage we should grow in numbers, but to preserve Nasrani from extinction! Well, we can be ‘emotionally optimistic’ but no wise men should ignore proofs, signs, statistics, facts and figures. They are the pointers to the future course-good or bad. In Syro Malabar Church the hierarchy is aware of this, but not taken seriously/ no time for too busy with temporal chores. Other Oriental Churches too not taken this seriously so far.
    Dr. Zachariah is Prophetic in doing research and giving an insight into the imminent danger for Nasranis. For those think being Nasrani is nothing special only can be indifferent to the signs.
    1. How many of our children will be ‘practicing Nasrani’ given the present cultural, genetic, migrational trends we follow ? (especially those in Euro-American areas).
    2. Isnt it bad omen Islam is overtaken Christianity in growth percentage ? (considering a fact is not fundamentalism, pls note)
    3. Though outrageous to say, it is truth that Nasrani can survive as true Nasrani only in Kerala. But Keralites too moving to western materialistic culture which is detrimental to their origin.
    4. You stated somewhere correctly: Jewish or not, a Nasrani is one who is Oriental-Antiochian and importantly Christian origin.

    2. “This is what a very well respected intellectual of the largest Thomasine church has to say”
    Let me point out: No Oriental Church at least Syro-Malabar Church is not Thomasine and Fr. Varghese Pathikulangara CMI is not one. ( I will be happy if you wrongly termed it).

    What Fr. Varghese Pathikulangara opined is 100 % correct. I thankfully acknowledge him as one of rare bold priest in Syro Malabar Church.
    It is proof that many priests and majority laymen are of the opinion that “It is the duty of the leaders of the Church to lead the faithful to her genuine ‘ethos’…… They must take serious effort….. give proper and clear guidance to the faithful and encourage them. This is, in fact, the desire and request of second Vatican Council and this is a must, not an option.”.
    Not many in the leadership are interested to preserve ‘genuine ethos’ of Thomas Christians in SMC. Recommendations of Vat.II on laymen –their equal right and part in the Church-are conveniently discarded or shelved.
    If the ‘genuine ethos’ are to be reinstated, along with will have to be the erstwhile Deaconship too. The Deacon in the pre-Portuguese Thomas church is the ordained one who mange temporal (money) matters of Parish with Palliyogam. The Parish Priest was much more of high esteem, serving solely the spiritual needs of Parishioners, and abstain from money matters to maintain his sanctity. (Acts. 6:1-7)
    Now except the missionary Priests most of Parish Priests have very little time left for spiritual matters after handling money matters. The result: many of them become ‘worldly’ and rather managers and Executives !

    Summary: Though preserving Nasrani origin is of great importance; just living fondling our past glory without considering ground realities is suicidal.

    Dr. Zachariah is not a ‘Dooms-Day prophet’, he has to be taken seriously or our efforts could be in vein like the seeds on rock (Mark 4:5-7).

    Sorry for the time.

  67. sunny alanoly says

    Dear George,
    Sorry for delay replying.
    I highly appreciate and join with your pride of Jewish/Hebrew origin. Those disagreeing totally are ignorant of history (and I sympathize with those say nothing to be proud of being Nasrani) and praise Jacson and co’s DNA project. My earnest request to you and all is that we have to provide room for those Nasranis too that are hating / opposing the Jewish/Hebrew origin(by any reason) and also those Nasranis adamantly claiming of Namboothiry conversion origin.
    You said “Now that we have more or less established that we are of Jewish/Hebrew heritage, where do we go from here?”…. What now ??? You have to work for the unity of Nasranis, bringing all divided into ‘one stable’ of Christ.
    Weren’t we one (all denominations) known as ‘Thomas Christians’ prior to Portuguese arrival ?
    Studying our history shows there is no serious reason for our divide except the Portuguese factor and no divide existed till then in Liturgical, origin based, cultural, linguistic, hierarchic etc… Portuguese compelled Roman hierarchy upon Thomas Christians: Some didn’t accepted and broke away, some accepted reluctantly (by various reasons).
    Now Portuguese are gone. Why should we stand divided even after their exit ? Now just materialistic and power related issues are the sole cause of the stand-off. This divide is predominantly between hierarchies alone and not between laity.
    By Baptism we are all(lay and hierarchy equally) part of Christ’s mystical body, we have our duty & right to work for the betterment and unity of His body .
    This right & duty empower us, the laity by Him irrespective of the consent of the respective hierarchies
    to work for the unity, a BROAD NASRANI PLATFORM, that’s our ‘Lay Apostolate’. We are divided into groups and denominations and fast approaching extinction. (Let all call me the Pessimist or ‘Dooms Day propagandist’, I will still loudly echo this danger, for it’s a fact, just a question of how many years and not centuries. We have to avert it by regrouping (like Israel did). A ‘World Nasrani Platform’ is the only remedy for our resurrection from the divide and quarels.(See Nasranis fighting and killing at Churches in Kerala on mean causes ! I wonder why nobody debating this shameful issue on this forum).
    Given unity our sacred aim why should we distance ourselves from those Nasrani brothers adamant of their belief of origin from Namboothiri or even Nair / Ezhava/Mukkuva(Fishermen)/ Vaisya/Sudra conversion ??? If Christ our Lord embraced all, even preferred sinners, ‘Purajathi’ et al, how can we oppose/reject them? Difference of opinion is natural and let us cohabit, join together rather than tied up at own stables of adamancy and fight between.
    If we accept them to a broad fold, we, the Jewish/Hebrew origin Nasrani will be lauded for our broadmindedness. Or we may looked down upon as of even fascist tendency !
    I am an SMC member of ancient Ramapuram origin but I wish to embrace members of other denominations of Christians even if my denomination oppose it for petty reasons because the divide is against Christ. I am sorry for the untouchablity practiced in SMC towards ‘Puthukristianis’.
    It is a tough task indeed but if taken initiative and act,nothing can stop us because our cause is divine. He will work with us (Mathew 21:21-22).
    Shall we start somewhere?
    (difference of opinions are welcome from all)

  68. Jackson says

    Dear Sunny,

    I agree with you entirely. And I too am a SMC. But now as u said the portuguese have gone and we reunite back as we were before…. the next question is how and under what ? Which denomination and church will be join/restore back ourselves to ? which is our Mother Church and how many ready to join ? If we are speaking of dissolving Roman catholicism and latinization then again we will have further splits as before from those who favour latinization. So how how and how do we unite ecclesiastically ? This is the toughest situation any Nasrani will face because the seeds of division have rooted very deep among our denominations and God help us to reunite. But how does members on NSC see all this happen to start with ? I’m eager for an answer….

  69. Benney says

    what sunny told is realistic. the nasrani need a common platform . but a lot of home work is tobe done for organizing the nasrani . with out proper ideological support we cannot organise . it should have a vision , and mission .with out this it will end up like keralacongress .
    we have a equiminical commiitee , but nobody knows what are they doing .the platform should form in the ground and then grow to the hieghts
    At the same time i want to point out that we should support the puthuchristiansby all means but not let them include in our community coz it will degrade our heritage and pollute our ancestrol orgins .

  70. George Mathew says

    Dear Benney,

    Sorry! I beg to differ. Your statement that the ‘New Christians’ should not be included in our Nasrani fold and that it will ******heritage and ******our ancestrol orgins’ is simply 100% unacceptable.

    There is a Biblical saying ‘…when God does not watch over a city, the watchmen watch in vain…’. So if we have any thoughts in our brains not to welcome non Nasranis into our fold, then all our efforts are in vain. As earlier written by me, it is difficult, but it should be done.

    You see Benney, it is all in our hearts and not in our brains or DNA. True and lasting heritage is built when you welcome the less fortunate into your fold and not when denying them entry.

    Before your proceed further, place your ‘ideiology’ at the foot of the cross and see what He has to say to you.

  71. George Mathew says

    Dear Jackson,

    All under one ‘roof’ is good but may not be practical but that need not deter or discourge us. As long as we stand united in core issues, that is enough. My opinion!

    As John pointed out earlier, it is good that he Nasranis are scattered all over the world, it is a kind of insurance…. So also, it may be good if we all retain our independence, yet remain together. A large church will have her own limitations. Smaller churches will be easier to administer and we can give quality witnessing. We can perhaps use our present limitations/fragmentation to our advantage.

  72. John Mathew says

    RE: unity

    I don’t think it will be that easy to revert to pre-Portuguese Christianity, nor do I necessarily agree with it.

    My perspective is that the faith of my father is closer to me than that of my grand-father (or his forefathers). So even if it is definitively shown that the Syrian Christians were exclusively members of the Church of the East prior to the arrival of the Portuguese, that would not compel me to leave my West Syrian Orthodox faith—for the simple reasons that my ancestors (for at least ten generations, by my research) were Orthodox. So, to me and my ancestors, a reversion to the East Syrian faith would be a reversion to something alien. I feel that the same may be true of a Syro-Malabar Catholic who, in order to revert to the pre-Portuguese faith, would have to give up the modifications that have been injected into that Church over the past few centuries.

    And then consider the Mar Thomites who most certainly would not cast off their Protestantism in favor of a bona fide eastern faith (it would be far easier for a rich man to enter heaven, than for a Mar Thomite to become an Eastern Christian…!). (Sorry NSC, I just had to put that in 😉 !!!)

    The fact is regardless of our doctrinal and liturgical differences, all communities accept something from the past and retain a connection to it. The Syro-Malabar retain some of the East Syrian liturgy and language. The Orthodox retain the reverence of the original Kadishangal–Mar Sabor and Mar Aphroth, celebrate liturgies honoring some of the true (non-Chaldean) East Syrian fathers, and have been less interested in destroying old Churches and altars in favor of modernity/western compliance. Both communities, depending on geographical location, retain some of the old customs as well. And all communities (even my favorite Protestants, the Mar Thomites) have expressed some interest in supporting the Syrian (East or West) language and heritage (via the Mar Ephrem institute, managed by the Syro-Malankara Catholics). So I think neither unity nor ecumenism of the Churches are necessary — since nothing has really been lost, and we’re in no danger of being destroyed.

    And regarding the new Christians … I don’t know. I think new converts to the Syro-Malabar or Orthodox faiths should be accepted unhesitatingly. After all, the general Syrian Christian community must certainly consists of the descendants of peoples who were native sons of India and who converted over the past two millenia (in addition to Jews, Arabs, Persians, other Middle Easterners, etc., who arrived via immigration).

    *But* I think the Nasranis should exclude all Protestants (Pentecostals, the CSIs, and so on), include the “new Christian” converts to Protestantism. Those communities are not Nasranis, and have no connection to the Nasrani way. Even if they descend from people who used to be Nasranis. To accept Protestants and those allied with Protestantism would certainly dilute, pollute, and pervert our people.

    (And to Sunny: to claim that those who disagree with George Mathew’s over-enthusiasm for “Jewish Christianity” are ignorant, is ridiculous. There is no evidence that our pre-Portuguese ancestors were Jewish Christians… most of the evidence suggests that they were bona fide Church of the East members. If Jewish Christianity existed, it existed way back in the mists of time—the first century—only to be destroyed by Gentile Christianity: and again, all of us Syrians—Syro-Malabar, Orthodox, and COE—subscribe to Gentile Christianity, not Jewish Christianity. Read a little more rather than relying on fantasy-driven speculation. Or, put your money where your mouth is, go and get circumcised yourself, and become a Jewish Christian—if you read anything on the topic you’d know that’s what they required, as well as a Jewish mother.)

  73. sunny alanoly says

    Dear all,
    Sub: UNITY
    Thanks Jackson, Benney, George Mathew, John Mathew for your votes.
    I am eagerly waiting for others, say BG, NJ, Jack, Skay, Joby all…………Admin too(if willing)…
    I am waiting for your valuable inputs into this subject.
    Agree, on the outset it is a:
    sacrificing-one’s-identity kind of proposition.
    And it is as dangerous as caging all animals together tutoring unity !

    Still isn’t it worth discussing as an important subj especially when Christian hates Christian times ?

    Please contribute your opinions.
    Thanks for the time spent.

  74. George Mathew says

    Dear John,

    Before the Portugeese matter, the COE would not have had a good relationship with the Jews or anything Jewish or Jewish Christianity (Dr. Grant strongly acknowledges this matter infact he writes that there was always animosity).

    My heritage is not limited to the COE as you have defined me. You are mimicing a priest who once told me ‘… you can not have faith if you do not have a sabha(church). I did not see Yahoweh by being born a Marthomite. I saw Him when I saw suffering in humans/animals/plants and when I realized that suffering was gifted to me, so that I may become more humane.

    The Orthodox Church or the Marthoma Church, COE etc. may be important to you to retain your Christian faith. I don’t need these churches at all to retain and grow in my Christian faith. As far as I am concerned, my forefathers were most probably Hebrews/Jews who got ‘converted’ by St. Thomas and every cell in my body longs to go back to that heritage (my rightful heritage – my own) in year 52AD. No Marthoma Church or COE can block me from my heritage. I am Nasrani first, Marthomite second.

    My forefathers are no less important to me than my father. Perhaps, from several perspectives, my forefathers are more important to me than my father (though I have a great man as my father). It is interesting that a few days ago he had remarked at home in Kerala when he heard that my wife and me will be going home to Mavelikara .’… I don’t want to see Ashok (me) but I want to see Anand (my son), tell Ashok not to come but instead to sent Anand, if air ticket money is a problem.

    As someone said a few days ago, Church memebership is one of physical convinience. Though a Marthomite, I will not let the Marthoma Church define me. There is much more in history, tradiitons, heritage, spirituality, divinity, truth, morality etc. than mere human made churches. Every right thinking Metropolita knows this.

    To conclude, let me narrate a joke(?) A priest lost his faith and rushed to his bishop crying ‘… I have lost my faith… I can not continue as a priest…’…. “… Then fake it’ was the Bishop’s brief and effective answer.

  75. George Mathew says

    Dear John,

    The above relationship between father and son is in my view one the strongest bonds between a father an son. It is very paradoxial but true.

  76. George Mathew says

    Dear Jackson,

    Your usage of the word ‘hallal’ and ‘harami’. I strongly suspect they are muslim and also Arabic words than Hebrew or Jewish. But there is a chance they may be ‘Syriac’. Please confirm!

  77. John Mathew says

    Dear George:

    My mistake. I was speaking on the basis of what the historical evidence says about the origin of the Nasranis (COE, not Judaism). If we want to include speculation, then you’re correct: there are a variety of other identities that, although not justified by history, do technically exist within the realm of possibility.

    If one takes the idea of one’s forefather’s being more relevant than one’s father, then we can extend that argument even further back! Why stop at AD 52? Why not go back to Abraham? Or if you accept that, why not go back to Abraham’s forefathers who were polytheistic idol-worshippers? Where does one stop?

  78. John Mathew says

    Dear George:

    Grant was writing about a particular tribe of Nestorians who lived in the mountains of Urmiah. They are not representative of all members of the COE. They were just *one* example. Please don’t extend their anti-semiticism (or Grant’s “reporting” of the same) to *all* members of the COE.

    For all we know, the COE in India probably retained the tolerance characteristic of Indian (and not Semitic) culture. How else could they have survived the centuries?

    You know … there’s probably a reason why the COE in India thrived, and continues to thrive (despite the changing allegiance of its people), while the COE in Mesopotamia is a tiny fraction of what it used to be … one was Semitic (retaining the typical closed-mindedness and tribalism of Semitic peoples) while the other was culturally Indian.

  79. George Mathew says

    Dear John,

    Why stop at 52AD? Good question!

    In 52AD a Jew received Jesus as the Messaih.from St. Thomas. It was a tough call. He must have been a good man to do that. He raised his children from the violent ‘Tooth for a tooth’ tradition of Judaism to the tradition of ‘love your enemy’
    I like to presume that life was not the same since 52AD, This is what my heart tells me. For I all know, my forefather in 907AD could have been a very nasty/evil man. But somehow, my heart does not want to look at this in such a way.

  80. George Mathew says

    Dear Sunny,


    You and me may be talking the same thing (I have often noticed that!). I may be trying for unity through Jewish Christianity and you may be trying for unity through other means. Earlier, as a commen ground, I was thinking about the COE but now I am thinking more of ‘St Thomas Christians of Malabar AD 52’.

  81. John Mathew says

    Dear George:

    I’m not going to comment about your comment on books — your statements on this group are a perfect exposition of what happens when one relies on fantasy and opinion as opposed to facts. You use terminology in a non-standard manner, based on the whims of your own personal instantaneous “understanding” and then draw fire from others because of the same and then wonder why! A “Jew” is a defined thing, and it is the height of silliness for you, a non-Jew (speaking objectively), to say that you don’t care what a real Jew thinks about what it means to be a Jew! The same with your earlier mistaken view on what it means to be Orthodox. And so on. And so on.

    Well, I guess I was wrong — I did comment …

    Now, as for what I wanted to say here: your understanding of slavery and abolition is a little messed up! The Protestant and Catholic Europeans were first major players in the slave trade George! And they traded slaves for quite some time. And the British slave traders were Protestants all the way through as well. That they had a change of heart later on was nice: but don’t amplify your obvious ignorance of the actual real factual world by claiming that it was Protestantism that stopped slavery. That’s wrong George, like a lot of what you write—it’s plain WRONG.

    After some Protestants (and Catholics too!) stopped engaging in the official slave trade, other Protestants in the American South continued on with slavery and maltreatment of blacks. For a long time in the US South it was the American Catholic Church that stood in opposition to slavery, with your brothers, the Protestants, treated the slaves (and the Catholics) horribly.

    Books George. You may not like ’em, but they have these little things called facts which help one make an *informed* un-distorted balanced rational statement.

    I can’t speak for anyone else on this group, but I think the reason why most Catholics and Orthodox dislike Protestantism is because Protestantism is heresy and is alien to catholic Christianity. And since most on NSC are here because of a pro-Oriental viewpoint, and since Protestantism is not an Oriental mode of Christianity, Protestantism (when it shows up) is often shot down. Sorry, but there’s a line in the sand—a defined, objective, clearly-understood line—and Protestantism is on the other side.

    Finally, for you to say that “Protestants know their Bible” is ridiculous — especially since the Protestants use a chopped up version missing many important books. As with everything else, Protestant knowledge of the Bible is fragmented at best.

  82. NJ says

    Shlama illakh

    Nasrani unity is a possibility. Unity can only be gained only by love for the Church, the Liturgy, the History of the community , and learning the only Sacred Language Aramaic (Syriac) of Nasranis and honoring the Syriac Tradition.

    Peace in the name of our Lord Iso’ Msiha.

  83. Itty Varghese says

    Dear Sunny and all

    The nasranies are already united to some extend. But only in the laity level They may be divided into different denominations. But in a marriage market an average nasrani laity is ready to sink this difference for a better bride or groom (there by compelling the church leaderships to make many unwritten rules in this subject).The alliance between Jacobites and Marthomites are very common and with Catholics also it is not rare. But, one thing is certain, a nasrani rarely seeks alliance from outside his Syrian community. I think this way our community is slowly becoming more homogeneous.

    For those who are not satisfied with this type of Nasrani unity,more good news are coming There are communion talks between Catholics and COE. There are many who believe that Nestorious was not a heretic at all! .What is attributed him is not what he actually said. The problems are due to a language barrier between the Aramaic Nestorius and Greek speaking westerners .The Christological differences in the Chalcedone is also because of some misunderstandings .The Jacobites ,the Copts and the Armenians were branded as monophysites which they denied completely. Now westerners understood that miaphysite theology is orthodox and is different from Euthicose’s monophysite theology .Well, these were the fundamental reasons for the splits in the Christianity which reflected in the Malankara Nasranies also.If they are no more valid why we should suffer its evil fruits?

    But the real problems are yet to come .They are not ideological and not cultural also. They are the personnel /ego problems. The one we see in the Bava –Metran issue (I think soon they are going to celebrate the 100th year of fighting in a grant-united-way) or the problems of SMC. This will be the biggest obstacle for any unity experiment.(see the pathetic status of the all nasrani, once poweful, Kerala Congress )

    Then a large number of Syrians served all the links to their nasrani identity and embraced the American imported Pentecostism. They, in this process, stopped talking to their parents ,brothers and cousins who are still in the nasrani churches ( talking to a fellow nasrani Christian will seriously affect their assured position in the heaven) . Any way Marthoma,CSI protestants are much better than them.
    When we talk about a common nasrani platform we should be ready to face such problem.
    I don’t think puthuchristians are a big problem .After all how many are there in SMC.
    And my orthodox –Jacobite church is not believing in polluting our nasrani blue blood with puthu Christian converts. So they never attempted conversion. At least in this side we are ready

  84. BENNEY says

    The most important problem the nasrani community is facing is the majority of the people not aware about their history and traditions . Most of them not aware about their relativeness with other syrian christian churches.

    Even some people among nasranis believe that each denomination of syrian churches are seperate caste like castes in hindus.

    The primary objective of us is to realize our history and traditions .

    Each Syrianchurch should take initiave to educate its people about true history and traditions and their relativeness with other syrian churches. this is important to build a unity among the people among different denominations .

    The pentecost move ment is a challenge to all Syrian churches . pentecost peoples brain wash nasranis by saying that we are worshiping saints and cross that is against bible .and again we are worshiping idols and it is pagan this is partially correct because in the name of mediation prayer these churches are favouring worshiping saints .These churches give more importance to st george , st antonys , st mary ,st gregorius etc instead of yahovah .specially in catholic churches and homes idols are an important element in worship
    Servant is not greater than his master
    until and unless the syrian churches place yahovah at its centre and eradicate idol worshiping it cannot able to prevent its people embracing pentecost faith
    dont mis understand me as a protestant , I am a fellow orthodox

  85. Jackson says

    Dear All,

    Its notable that Almost everyone here is speaking a common line- Unity, in all their comments keeping aside minor differences which are signs of the fruits of the Spirit. And such a progression of thoughts and discussion is extremely notable and so far I have seen it happening on NSC well. Atleast the people here are spiritually One, rooted in Yahweh and His Messiah. And Benney u said it right our idols and egos have to be purged out and attention be placed on our creator (whatever background we come from) Yahweh and re-creator Yeshua ! And we should not be far from unity in Spirit. Let us laity start a silent revolution, the leaders will follow. Yes because most leaders have failed to lead us into unity in Christ I say we laity need to unite now. And just talking about Judaism and Jewishness will not take us anywhere as we know Jews themselves are horribly divided in themselves into parties and groups based on sectarianisms, colour, etc.

    We need to be the pre-portuguese era ST. Thomas Christians atleast in Spirit as I said to start with. And if Yahweh wills, ecclesistical unity will be restored. We don’t have to toil much here because He is the reason and the cause we are coming together for. So we need to pool the positive vibes of all our people and reduce the negatives thru’ dialogues and coming to terms because there is only One Spirit and One God and One Messiah we all have !! And if it is Yahweh bringing us today together then the rebellors please BEWARE you are rebelling not against men but against the Hand of God !

    Everyone out there, all those who are either discussing or reading and in touch with NSC please come forward with your views and opinions and let the Spirit of God work further ! Let’s give Him a Chance by opening our minds and allowing Him to take over. Rest He will take care of I believe.

    Peace to all in Christ ! Shalom !

  86. BGfromNZ says

    Hi All

    I think unity and love should start from this forum. We have difference of opinions, that doesnt hinder us at any level

    cheers mates..

  87. BENNEY says

    come up with positive thoughts

  88. Cheriyan says

    “It is ironic that, while some parts of India are torn by violence between faiths, this ancient and unique stream of Christianity should be turning in on itself with a vengeance.”

    BBC News- http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/south_asia/2604455.stm
    We have to make a difference. Ironically this is there in every church. Lets hope and pray. Long Live Nasranis.

  89. Shijo M says

    Christ tells the Apostles that his followers will be known by their love, as he gives them the New Commandment that summarizes not only his teachings, but his whole life and death,

    A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another. (John 13:34-35)

    The measure of following Jesus is love, a love that will manifest itself as unity,

    I do not pray for these only, but also for those who believe in me through their word, that they may all be one; even as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they may be one in us, so that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. The glory which thou hast given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one, I in them thou in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that thou hast sent me and hast loved them even as thou hast loved me. (John 17:20-23, RSV)

    Unity is essential to Nasranis as true followers of Jesus. It is not just a friendliness or a togetherness, but perfect oneness: “that they may be one even as we are one”–we, Jesus’ followers, are to have the oneness of God!

  90. Santhosh says

    Dear Sunny

    As long as we keep trying to drink from the glory of earthly things, the divisions and one better than other approach , Nasrani will always be divided. We will never experience the unity that is possible unless we go back to our sources of inspiration, the faith of our forefathers- Syriac Christianity and draw near to God, and receive the glorious presence of the Holy Spirit.

  91. George Mathew says

    Dear Sunny,

    Be assured that from my part, I will do all that I can to have good relationship with others.

    It is a tradition of the Marthoma Church at Calgary to invite all people from other Churches, (particularly Nasrani) for our Christmas festivities. During and after choir, plays and dinner one can see only smiles on their faces.

  92. Santhosh says


    The numbers given by each syiran churches differ dramatically. The data tabulated on demography are mostly in direct conflict with India’s official census data which place the total Christian population in Kerala at 6.06 million in the year 2001. Accordingly, the population of St Thomas Christians in Kerala (who form 70-75% of the total Christian population in the State as suggested above) may be in the region of 4.2 to 4.5 million.

    Are there any realistic data tabulation available ? What are the reasons for not having any proper demographic information ?

    Its unusually said some members of the Latin Church and Church of South India in Kerala also trace their orgin to St. Thomas Christianity. How did it happen ?

  93. BENNEY says

    unity is possible if each churches and its members put their egos down and eager for cultural renaisance .
    revival of our nasrani culture and language will make a feel of self respect among us

    the petecost are very passionate about not wearing gold but silent in vulgar dressing of its people
    even in churches
    we should teach show them what yeshu actually taught .then only

  94. BENNEY says

    Dear Santhosh ,

    Syrian christians are not only living in kerala . A lot of people are migrated to other states of India. and also to other countries .Some of them have citizenship in these countries
    so we cannot consideronly the population in kerala for nasrani demography

    A small section among latin catholics called “Angoottikkar ” were adopted latin christianity from nasranis during the portughese era ( first split in our community )

    CSI central kerala diocese have nasrani population

  95. Syam.Sathyan.George says

    Hi All,

    I agree with most of the facts dicussed above by many Veteran Nasranis.
    I being one could not leave this page without a post.

    Though there were a lot of steamy text exchage about HNN’s etc, finally I see the thread came to Unity of Nasranis. Well well well- we should have used a better terminology “Unity of Christians”.

    About EU – overbreeding of muslims is a real fact which i saw myself, even in the most arrogant and racist countries of European Union its happening. The Dutch being one of the least reproducing state in EU is purposely welcoming immigrants from former Dutch colonies in a drastic hope of filling their labour needs with Dutch speaking people. Germany ape the same model by giving PR’s to citizens of African countries which were previously under the control of Der Führer.

    Yes i Agree to the fact that we Nazranis are making the younger generation money minting machines by cultivating only white collar jobs into their minds. I remember as a child – along with food, Mbbs/Engg/IAS aspiration was spoon fed to all of us in our generation. I cant deny the fact that it changed our perception about other low paid manual jobs of our country. But as a grown up citizen I understant the fact that the growing Giant needs all our efforts to catalyze its development. There is a new saying among Dutch that “if you dont have an operations centre in India or China within the next 5 years, you are gonna close down due to high operational cost”.
    Even a new saying evolved in Silicon valley -“get Bangalored”(google and see).

    Population crisis in atomic Nazrani families will be a major challenge in upholding the faith in coming years., the reason being as above said – faith needs believers like a book needs readers.

    (Number of believers vs non believers is the largest challenge faced by Christian denominations world wide, non believers and evolutionists will out number me and you in many discussions in coming years)
    But this is the part of the end times as the book of Revelation says – this is not the end, the end will be more worse, these are pangs of distress.

    Now about the real picture of Christianity and its declining Demographics in India.

    I was returning to my home in Bangalore.
    And I was surprised to see my mother encircled with a group of young men and women who calls themselves “diligent bible students”. They were Jehowahs witnesses.
    They also convert other denomination Christian’s to their faith and completely mould their minds. The rate at which Pentecost and JWTnesses convert the Nasranis in kerala is alarming.
    Please take a look at the works of these protestant denominations in kerala, its surprising that people in homeland are not able to thwart them by firm faith. I myself took great pain – digging their history to find the real facts about them and their founders.

    But the toughest challenge was to make them stop visiting my mother.
    I achieved this by calling them for an open discussion – they brought a circuit overseer from Mumbai.
    Mom and I was prepared about some genuine questions(which i had prepared by collecting info from friends who had earlier attacks of the same kind).

    We asked –
    *(Earlier we had watched that in their church no one had taken part in it, while pass over was observed).
    Q:”Why arent normal people in JWT congregation not allowed to take part of the holy bread and wine”?
    Ans:Only those chosen by God can take part in it, others just watch.

    So we asked
    Q:”Arent there any one in your local church who is chosen by God”?
    Ans: No.

    Q:”Are there any one who could take part in India”?
    Ans:Yes, some are there, they are known to our association (Watch Tower Society).

    Q:Ok. Who are they, how will i know that i am not supposed to take part?.

    Ans:They are the anointed class, the 1,44000 people revelation tells about.
    They were mostly first century christians and deciples of Jesus. Some are living now since the list of 144000 is not yet over. The ones in India are very few, but still some are there to show us wisdom. Their list is with us, Spirit will tell you whether you are one among them. If you are one among them you can also take part in the holy mass, else watch them taking part if any of them are present. If no one from that class are present then no one will take part.

    Q,Ok, So if spirit tells me to take part in it then i can take part in it life long, else i cant?

    Q:Ok then, What does Jesus mean by -“I am the bread of life. Anyone who come to me will never be hungry and anyone who has complete trust and faith in Me will never thirst”?
    Ans:Jesus said to first century Christians including desciples, all were chosen as annointed by Spirit. Not applicable to us(Gentiles)

    Q:Ok, then what does it mean when Jesus tells -“Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. For my flesh is real food and my blood is real drink. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me, and I in him”. So jesus did not talk about Jehowah’s Witnesses here(which came into existence in 19th century) he tells “Who ever”?

    The overseer answered like a politician and asked my mother
    Ans:Aunty what do you want, you want to take part of the holy bread,do it if spirit tells you to!!

    They left after that, i am still searching for more Questions to ask them in the next visit.
    If any one has good questions please contribute as i want to fight them off with a dose of their own medicine(faith in the scriptures).

  96. Paalakkaran Aviraachan says

    Dear NSC Admin ,please make the site more active.if you can afford ,please purchase a Vbulletin Forum for active interaction rather than posting as comments.
    or the free message boards like phpbb and many others including http://www.mybboard.net/ (easy).

    Best of Luck,

  97. augustine sebastian says

    well nasranies are so much scattered they need to be brought together in one body to make their voice heard in the church as well as within the political system of the country except Kerala

  98. Augustine Sebastian says

    It is unfortunate that instead of uniting syrian christians irrespective of their denominations, ever since I was a child I have been hearing arguments counter arguments, discussions between different syrian churches of which their is no fruit, they should all get united to preserve their culture, language, tradition etc under a common platform to trace geneology , earlier don the better it is for the community as the majority in India and elsewhere think that all christians are converts converted by the british.

    1. Joy Thomas Vallianeth says

      I fully agree with Augustine Sebastian. It is high time we all united as one Syrian Christian community irrespective of our church affiliation etc so as to retain our culture , tradition etc. It is a unique tradition and let us not loose it by fighting and arguing among ourselves for not so important matters like whether this liturgy is better than the other one or who is numerically stronger etc. We were all one to begin with and destiny has brought divisions among us due to foreigners.

      Let us forget all that has happened in history and move forward so that we could all be one.

  99. subin sebastian says

    Dear Benny,

    This is regarding your post-2003,am also agreeing with you for more children,
    Am be proud to be a nasrani.
    my grandfather is migrated from kottayam district to karnataka,and he purchased many land cultivate corps,
    my father and me and my son are still living here.we are following the old customs of nasranies.am proud to say that we are following night prayers (japamala)every days, And I never stopped this in my life time.In some familes i had observed including my relatives who still lives in kottayam are not praying japamala insted they all infront of TV.
    our community will be in history after some decades if we going in this model.
    below points I found for the reason.

    1.Meaningless lifestyle-not attending church and daily prayers.
    2.Ignorence of our community or lack of knowledge about our customs.
    3.only One or two child in family.
    4.marriages with other religion.

    According to a study done by family apostlate of tellichery arch diocease ,the report commits that 70% of youth are studing in away home town for nursing or engineering and out of it 40% going with other cast people….!

  100. Benny says

    Dear Subin ,
    Thanks for your ideological Support
    Our Youth are not aware about the Challenges facing by our Community . No body is making efforts to make them informative about the issues . There are lot of youth organisations among us and they are conducting lot of religious activities and missionary activities but none of them are interested in making our young generation aware about Real Life Challenges facing by ours.

    Dear Youth leaders please conduct discussions among the younger people and make them aware of the issues facing by us .Conduct debates on relevant issues . If the people are getting informed a lot of changes will occur silently .

  101. Vijoi says

    Combined Orthodox and Jacobite is the largest church in Kerala

    1. Jacob Jose says

      That’s wrong! The combined strength of the Jacobites and the Catholics is lower than half the strength of the Syro Malabar Catholic Church. This can be verified using the 2011 Census report.

      Also note that the Syro Malabar Catholics are the only politically significant Nasrani community in the state, with a party of their own (The Kerala Congress). Had the Puthencoors been a large community as thou said, they would have enjoyed political relevance!!

      1. Jacob says

        **Correction: combined strength of Jacobites and Orthodox.

      2. Jacob Idicula Muthalaly says

        Thank you for that correction Jacob Jose. I make this comment respectfully. There is always a difference between facts and wishful thinking; and not seeing the big picture. We have to be open to developments elsewhere too. This is exactly what I tell my priests and clergy but they do not seem to be that receptive. We (all of us) have to get out of that bubble. respectfully, J+


    Dear BG from NZ
    Roman catholics are those who follow Roman rite (latin rite)of the catholic chruch .Formerly they used latin as the litugrical language and hence the name.Please don’t confuse Syro Malabar chruch as Roman catholic church.Both are particular chruches within Catholic church.The Head and patriarch of Roman church is Pope himself while the head of Syro Malabar church is Major Archbishop of Ernakulam -Angamaly.Pope is the Patriarch of Roman particular church as well as the supreme head of Universal church.

  103. marthoma_nasrani says

    ഇതൊരു കത്തോലിക്കാ വെബ്സൈറ്റ്യിൽ നിന്ന് എടുത്തത് ആണ് , ഇതിൽ പോലും 1930 കൽ വരെ നോക്കിയാൽ സുറിയാനിക്കാരുടെ ( യാക്കോബായ + മാർത്തോമാ ) ജനസംഖ്യ റോമാ സുറിയാനി കാരുടെ അത്ര തന്നെയോ അതിൽ കൂടുതലോ ആണ് എന്ന് അറിയാൻ കഴിയും , പിന്നെ എങ്ങനെ ആണ് കേരളത്തിൽ റോമാ സുറിയാനിക്കാർ ഇത്ര അധികം വർധിച്ചത് എന്നത് പഠനത്തിന് വിധേയം ആകേണ്ടതാണ് . ഒന്ന് ഞാൻ കേട്ടിട്ടുള്ളത് 1930 കൾക്ക് ശേഷം റോമാക്കാർ ഓടി നടന്നു മതപരിവർത്തനം നടത്തി എന്നാണ് . കത്തോലിക്കർ കൂടുതൽ ഉള്ള സ്ഥലങ്ങളിൽ (ഉദാ . പാലാ കാഞ്ഞിരപ്പള്ളി ഇടുക്കി , അങ്കമാലി ) ഹിന്ദു പോപുലേഷൻ കുറവാണു എന്നത് ഇതിനൊരു തെളിവ് ആയിരിക്കാം .

    1. Johny Kuriakose says

      താങ്കളുടെ നിരീക്ഷണം തെറ്റാണു. 1930 വരെ റോമാ സുരിയനിക്കാരുടെ ജനസംഖ്യ കുറവാണു എന്നത് ഏത് കണക്ക് പ്രകാരമാണ് താങ്കള്‍ പറയുന്നത്?

  104. Marthoma_nasrani says

    ഇവിടെ തന്നെ കൊടുത്തിരിക്കുന്ന ജനസംഖ്യ ഒന്ന് കൂട്ടി നോക്കിക്കെ , റോമാക്കാർ സുറിയാനിക്കാരുടെ അത്രയുമേ അല്ലങ്കിൽ കുറവോ ആണ് , ഇതൊന്നും വേണ്ട പഴയ തിരുവിതാംകൂർ കൊച്ചി സെൻസസ് എടുത്തതിന്റെ ഡീറ്റെയിൽസ് നോക്കിയാലും മതി . എന്തായാലൂം ഒരുകാര്യം ഉറപ്പാണ് ഇന്നത്തെ റോമാ സുറിയാനി അല്ലെങ്കിൽ സിറോ മാളബാർ കാരുടെ ജനസംഖ്യ ഇത്രയും എത്തിയത് മാസ്സ് കൺവെർഷൻ വഴി തന്നെ ആണ്

  105. Mages says

    Where are the census studies?and reports?

    Where are the conversion statistics of Syro malabar church in 19th and 20 th century.

    This study is not appropriate.

    Church counts and population is not true

  106. Mathew says

    This is a propagandist writing. Most of the references are fake and they have not seen the world light.(Especially Joseph Thekkedeth’ book references)
    And many of these are not even primary references.

    I have no idea how Marthoma 4 sent 29 church details to Rome?(Reference given Placid Podipara book)
    Marthoma 4 clearly informed Dutch Captain Vischer that he have 45 churches under him during the period.

    And Gabriel,the East Syrian bishop informed Dutch that there were only 20 churches with Romo Syrians after coonan cross oath, and 44 churches with Puthenkoor Faction.

    If any one have doubt, one may check the churches Menezes visited. Clearly you will get an idea of why the majority are Puthenkoor churches.
    Almost 60 churches mentioned by Paulini after 130 years after coonan cross oath are churches for new converts.

    After Cooncross oath, Portuguese were driven out of Malankara within 10 years. The period was less to claim churches to Roman side.

    I have no idea, why you people have not included census records? Census are much correct than mere estimation and fake references.
    Check the Travancore,Cochin census in 18th century, and things will be clear .Thanks

  107. Mathew says

    I have no idea why Marthoma 4 should sent the list of churches with him to Rome? (As seen in this article)

    I don’t understand why Nasrani.net which is managed by Syro malabar church, gives credibility to such propagandist books.

    There were only 20 churches with the Romo Syrians. 44 Churches stood with Marthoma 1 after Coonan Cross Oath according to testimony from East Syrian bishop Gabrial.
    Marthoma 4 confesses he have 45 churches with him.

    The 84-32 story is first seen in Roman biased priest Paulinus’s book which is of 1780s.
    He does not claim that there were 84 churches with romo syrians.

    From 1653 to 1780, there is nearly 130 years and us sufficient for the Catholic fold to convert and build new churches.
    Atleast one church in two year would do.
    It is now a naked truth that vast amount of syro malabar is from converted folk.