Allepe and the Backwaters of Kerala: Part Three- St Thomas’ Church

boats on the backwaters of Kerala

boats on the backwaters of Kerala

A largely Christian area of India, Kerala is a matriarchal society, and currently communist.  The women must be doing a good job, because education is high, everyone speaks English, and Kerala is the wealthiest part of India.  We were once told that they have the highest percentages of Phds per capita in the world. Unfortunately they also have little jobs to support those Phds, and so many of Keralites leave after earning them.

angel murals on the ceilings

angel murals on the ceilings

On our backwaters rice boat tour, we stopped at a small church.  St. Thomas, one of Jesus’s twelve apostles, had made his way to India after the crucifixion and established several churches in the Kerala region.  This was one of them, and his followers where known as Thomas Christians.  I felt a familiar presence in the church, like I did in many, a result of my childhood upbringing I’m sure.  But though the structure was plain and small, it felt angelic here, and ancient.  I tried to imagine Thomas preaching here almost two thousand years ago, and I realized India’s Christian roots lay deeper than my own country’s.

church mural

church mural

Kevin whispered in my ear, “When the Christian missionaries came here, they started preaching about Jesus, many people accepted him as another god.  Of course, the missionaries had a lot harder time convincing people Jesus was the only one to worship.  Hinduism is all inclusive, you know.”

St Thomas church altar

St Thomas church altar – orbs in photos

We were excited to find orbs in our photos and showed them to the priest. He looked at it dispassionately,“I think it has something to do with the flash and dust.”  I was not surprised, but nonetheless perplexed by his disbelief.  Wasn’t this man’s whole religion based on miracles?

“People attribute these to angels or other beings like ghosts,” we explained.  The priest was not convinced, and barely tried to humor us, but I for one thought it was a nice sign on Christmas Eve.

with our drivers

with our drivers

passing rice boat tour

passing rice boat tour

backwaters

backwaters

men on small boat

men on small boat

more rice boats

more rice boats

lights of the other rice boats at night

lights of the other rice boats at night

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2 thoughts on “Allepe and the Backwaters of Kerala: Part Three- St Thomas’ Church

  1. Hi Krista, Thank you SO much for these; India has moved up my list of places to see. I especially like your observations of a peaceful place, the matriarchal society. Please keep them coming; I’m living vicariously through your blog. Shari Phalan

    • Thanks Shari! Just when I was wondering if all the effort of this blog was worth it 🙂 I do hope you get to see India. Some parts were more peaceful than others to me, but that is probably because I am not a big city person- more of a nature lover & so found the backwaters of Kerala to be amazingly beautiful and serene.

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