Orthodox Christians are Christians that practice their faith in the Orthodox Church. This article discusses their history and beliefs. The article also discusses some of the persecutions that they face. It also talks about their observance of the Great Lent.
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Orthodox Christians in India trace their roots back to Saint Thomas Christianity. According to some traditions, Apostle Thomas arrived in Kerala in the early part of the first century and began preaching the Gospel. He performed miracles and converted many Hindus to Christianity. He also founded seven and a half churches in Kerala.
After Saint Thomas Christianity, Indian Christians began to receive help from Christian hierarchies in the Middle East. During the 16th century, Indian Christians were under the authority of the Catholic Church. They accepted the Pope of Rome. However, a number of Indian Christians continued to adhere to the Patriarch of Antioch. In the 17th century, a group of Indian Christians sought a formal relationship with the Syrian Orthodox Church of Antioch.
Observance of the great lent
Lent, the holy season of fasting, is the Christian ritual of acknowledging our mortality. While the length of Lent varies by tradition and culture, its goals are to repent, to increase spiritual activity and to prepare for the resurrection of Christ.
Some orthodox churches observe a forty-day lent while others celebrate it for 56 days. Both traditions are characterized by abstention from certain foods and products.
In most oriental orthodox churches, wine and dairy products are not allowed, while fish and eggs are prohibited. Fish and eggs are permitted on Sundays and during celebrations during fasting.
The observance of Lent is also associated with a number of other traditions, such as a service of forgiveness and prayer for the dead. It is believed that the practice of fasting helps people get closer to God, because it allows them to concentrate on their spiritual lives.
Acceptance of Buddhism and Jewish traditions as part of Christian culture
A recent poll conducted by the Levada Center showed that orthodox Christians in India are more than willing to accept Buddhism and Jewish traditions as part of their religion. It’s a fact that both these ancient faiths have had a long standing relationship with India. So, a fusion of the best of both worlds is bound to have plenty of merits.
First, it’s no secret that Christianity and Hinduism are two of the more popular religions in the subcontinent. Indeed, they are also two of the oldest in the world. This means, that if you’re looking for a faith to bet on, you’re going to have to look hard to find a dud. That said, the number of adherents to both faiths is on the rise, albeit at a slower pace than before.
Portuguese Jesuits’ attempts to annex the native Christians to the Catholic Church
In 1598, a number of Catholics of mixed origin lived in Chittagong. They were mainly traders and soldiers of Portuguese nationality. A chapel was built in the city. The parish priest was a travelling priest. It was subsequently replaced by a church dedicated to Our Blessed Lady of the Rosary.
Catholics had the chance to be Christians in Malindi, but their plans were not successful. Their hegemony was hampered by their oppression and cruelty. There were no regular provision made for the supply of priests. Moreover, Islam was not accepted by the Arabs.
At the end of the eighteenth century, Augustinians were in Calcutta and Bandel. But they were ignorant and corrupt. Some of them refused to accept the native candidates.
The Early Christians in India have survived for nearly two thousand years, maintaining the glorification of God and inner calm. However, persecutions have plagued the community from time to time. These persecutions were often local. But there are three significant historical events that have helped to bring hope to the Orthodox community in recent years.
One of these is the establishment of the Malankara Orthodox Church. This community is one of the most ancient Christian communities in the world, dating back to the first century. Its headquarters are located in Devalokam, Kottayam, Kerala, India.
Another of the major events that happened in the past is the arrival of Vasco da Gama and Captain Pedro Alvares Cabral. Their arrival brought new influences to the Indian community. They brought new priests and chaplains, and also introduced a Latin rite. Eventually, the Portuguese also attempted to make the entire Indian Christian community subordinate to their authority.