April 14, 2005

The Nasrani's

Ever since i moved out of kerala to far less greener (literally!) parts of india in search of education and job, i have often come up on people who are curious about my christain background. The questions basically go as "so are you a catholic"? "oh..so you must be a protestant"? "who is your pope" ? etc..
I am now an atheist (as u will notice if read the previous post!) but still this stuff got me interested in the history of my community
We are now called jacobites, basically syrian christains, we come under the patriarch of Antioch. So i did some googling and found some interesting history about my community. i am posting the links here

please remember that i dont subscribe to the religious beliefs (if) expressed in these site. i am just a history buff. I will probably keep adding to this list once in a while

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nasrani

http://www.shelterbelt.com/KJ/khchristians.html

http://www.rediff.com/news/2002/oct/22ker.htm

http://www.malankarachurch.org/malankara/MalankaraChurch2.htm

10 comments:

silverine said...

Aha! So my friend is an atheist! And y'day you told me you were an agnostic. So still to make up your mind yeah? So you are the same ilk as "Zakka Jacob" ?

And are all the guys in your community as ahem...sexy as him?

I mean Zakka from Headlines Today.

Matter of Choice said...

ahem... i often like to hedge my bet :)
supposing god really exists, i am better of being an agnostic rather than a atheist. My hell might be slightly cooler!

Zakka Jacob? Havent heard of the guy. The only Zakka i know of is a frail old lonely man sitting at Damascus.

Ofcourse all men in our community are sexy!!.. especially me, wanna check this out? :)

roshini said...

hey that zakka jacob of ht!!!!!!i am so suprised he is the sexy guy?ooooooooooh come on that' funny

kochuthresiamma p j said...

agnostic. atheist.
all i know is man needs GOD.

Silverine - so zach is ur idea of sexy? thought sexy men had to be macho. by the way do u know if he is a mallu or a jew or what - not that it matters-just curious, 'cos there r a lot of mallus in media-mebbe i'll check wiki

joe said...

We were High caste Brahmins and Jews who became Christians at 52AD ie we were christians even before Christianity was even in Rome.
We were High caste and had access to temples unlike low caste Hindus.
Its time we uphold our caste system to differentiate between Original Christians and other christians.

SavAnn said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Pattom Radhakrishnan said...

St. Thomas visited Kerala and introduced Christianity .After St. Thomas other missionaries from Persia came to Kerala and converted many people.. The early converts in Kerala belonging to different grades in society on the basis of occupation were commonly called Christians But the name Christian was changed to Nasrani when the Arabs (Moplahs) came to Kerala. Muslims used the word Nasrani in a contemptuous and derogatory manner. Christians and Jews were hated by Muslims in the Middle East and so they used the word 'Nasrani' in a derogatory and spiteful manner, as the Greeks called others 'barbarians.' Muslims quote the Koran to call Christians and Jews as 'Nasranis.'
This is the basis of the verse. " Jews say: 'Uzair is the son of God' and the Christians say: 'The Messiah, son of God'. Such is their saying with their mouths; they imitate the infidels saying earlier. Allah has cursed them, how are they to turn? "(Surat al-Tawbah: 30) By this interpretation, Muslims regard Christians and Jews infidels and collectively call them ‘Nasrani.’
Even today all Christians are contemptuously called Nasranis in the Middle East by the Arabs. In Kerala also, after the Arabs gave the derogatory name 'Nasranis' to Christians, Brahmins and Nairs also used that word in a derogatory and insulting manner till the arrival of colonial powers. Vrahnins and Nairs made Christians work as coolies, agricultural labourers in their farmlands and compulsory service called ‘oozhiyam.’ The true economic and social condition of the Christians who were ridiculously called Nasranis was recorded by a missionary when European powers were slowly establishing their authority; Abbe J.A. Dubois, a missionary in Mysore, in his letter dated August 7, 1815, writes: “The Jesuits, on their first arrival in India, hearing of them, in one way or other converted the greatest part to the Catholic faith. Their liturgy is to this day in the Syrian language, and in the performance of their religious ceremonies they use this ancient dead tongue. There remains still among them large congregations, consisting of 70 or 80,000 Christians, of whom two-thirds are Catholics, and a third Nestorians. They are all designated under the contemptuous name of Nazarany, and held by the pagans in still greater contempt than the Christians of this part of the country. The Nairs chiefly keep them at a greatest distance, and they form a separate caste.”
(to be continued)

Pattom Radhakrishnan said...

{continuation of previous post}

When the Portuguese and the British educated these hapless Christians and appointed them as soldiers, businessmen and planters, Christians ascended to top position in the fields of education, business, plantations, and commerce making Brahmins and Nairs inferiors. The Portuguese were in Kerala for 150 years and during this period there was widespread inter racial marriage between Portuguese and local Hindus. Albuquerque officially encouraged such marriages to increase Christian population. Later the offspring of such marriages married local Christians which eventually led to change in skin color and personality. Gradually the contemptuous name Nasrani was given up and the words, ‘Christians’ and ‘Syrian Christians’ became common usage. But in Arab countries Christians are even today called in a vulgar form, ‘Nasranis.” In a recent riot in Cairo when Muslim fanatics attacked Christians, the Huffington Post dated August 17, 2013 reported the following incident
“Naguib’s home supplies store on a main commercial street in the provincial capital, also called Minya, was torched this week and the flames consumed everything inside.
"A neighbor called me and said the store was on fire. When I arrived, three extremists with knifes approached me menacingly when they realized I was the owner," recounted Naguib. His father and brother pleaded with the men to spare him. Luckily, he said, someone shouted that a Christian boy was filming the proceedings using his cell phone, so the crowd rushed toward the boy shouting "Nusrani, Nusrani," the Quranic word for Christians which has become a derogatory way of referring to them in today's Egypt.”

Dr.Roshan George Koshy said...

Nasrani is derived from "followers of the Nazaraen" meaning Jesus of Nazareth. ..

Anonymous said...

pattom radhakrishnan always seems to have a life mission to belittle christians. Probbaly frustrated Trivandrum chap. No need to take him seriously, especially if he is suffering from inferiority complex..