A Living Portrait of India
Christianity is not native to the Indian soil, although there have been Christian communities in Kerala almost since the founding of the religion by Jesus Christ. Born in Bethlehem, to Mary and Joseph (who was a carpenter), Jesus spread love and mercy to all. In the environment of the Roman Empire, his message acquired a unique force of its own, the powers-that-be had him crucified after he had been betrayed to them by one of his own disciples. But he rose from his tomb and this Resurrection gave new strength to his other followers, who went on spreading his message.
The Christians believe in a trinity of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost. Their Holy Scripture, the Bible, is a collection of 73 books dating from about 9th century B.C. to the end of the 1st century A.D., divided into two sections: the Old Testament which corresponds to the Bible of Judaism and the New Testament which is entirely based on Christ's messsages.
Christians worship in what are called churches, praying both alone and in congregations. Although there are many sects and denominations of Christians, the two primary divisions are Roman Catholics and Protestants. The head of the Catholic Church is the Pope at Vatican. The Christian calendar calculates years from Christ's death. 10 years before Christ's death is 10 B.C. and 10 years after is 10A.D.
St Thomas the Apostle is said to have arrived in India in 54 A.D. Later,
with the advent of the Portugese, the French and the British in India,
there was further Christian influence. In India, Christians are basically
converts, although there are descendants of European settlers and Anglo-Indians.
In Goa, which had been long a Portugese domain, and the north-eastern
states Mizoram and Nagaland, which had been under effective missionary
influence, Christians form the majority of the population.