Home > News > Oath of the Koonan Cross – January 3

Oath of the Koonan Cross – January 3

Jan 3 is a significant day for our Church. Its when the Oath of the Koonan Cross occurred.  Keralite Christians rebel against the Portuguese invaders who wanted them to give allegiance to Roman Pope.

Our Church is founded by St. Thomas, one of the 12 Apostles of Christ, who came to India in AD 52.

When the trade routes opened to Kerala, it opened up to religious groups to come to India to convert.

The Portuguese tried to convert Kerala Christians to Roman Catholicism. The faithful objected that move. During that time, they heard that a body of a bishop who came from Persia (Antioch) was floating in the coastal waters of the city of Cochin. Hundreds and thousands of people gathered near Mattancheri and made a solemn decision to defend their faith.

They tied a large rope from the stone Cross in Mattancheri and holding the rope and they vowed to defend the faith of their Fathers and to prevent any interference from external forces. It became a historic event in the history of the Malankara Church.

More information:

History of Kerala – provided by Kerala Government

“The Indian Christian community in Malabar, however, continued to follow the Syrian version. In 1498, the Portuguese came to India, bringing with them the tenets of the RC Church. While they were happy to find an indigenous Christian community in Malabar, the Portuguese were determined to remove the influence of the Patriarch of Antioch from the Indian Church and wanted the Indian Christians to transfer their allegiance to the Pope in Rome. This caused frequent strife between the Portuguese and the Indian Christian community in Malabar. Finally, in 1599 AD, Archbishop Menezes of Goa, as the representative of the Pope in India, decided, that the main cause of the obstinacy of the Indian Christians was their interpretation of the Bible, with its differences from the RC version. So he thought the ‘Syrian Aramaic Bible’ must be destroyed.”

Source:  http://nasrani.net/2007/02/16/the-lost-aramaic-bible-of-syrian-christians-of-kerala/

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