Nu poate fii decât lucrarea Sfântului Duh faptul că tradiţia şi credinţa unei mici comunităţi de creştini ai primelor veacuri din India au rămas vii şi puternice de-a lungul a aproape două mii de ani.
Even amidst furtuni periodice, dintr-un motiv sau altul, de-a lungul acestor secole de schimbare, comunitatea şi-a păstrat un calm interior, datorat siguranţei oferite de învăţătura creştină, modelată sub forma conceptului original de "ortodox", care înseamnă "dreapta slăvire a lui Dumnezeu".
Creştinii primelor veacuri din India (în special de pe coasta sudică) erau cunoscut sub numele de creştini ai lui Toma
were and indeed prin nici un alt nume până la venirea portughezilor în secolul al XVI-lea, urmaţi la scurtă vreme de britanici.
Faptul că Biserica din India a fost fondată de Sfântul Apostol Toma este atestat de scrieri din Asia Apuseană începând cu secolul al II-lea (''Dogma Apostolilor'' şi ''Acta Thomae'', ambele scrise la sau pe lângă Edessa între anii 200-250 DH); apoi de către Sfântul [[Efrem Sirul|Efrem]], Sfântul [[Ioan Gură de Aur]] şi Sfântul [[Grigorie Teologul|Gregorie de Nazianz]] în secolul al IV-lea; Sfântul [[Ieronim]] în jurul anului 400 DH; şi de către istoricii [[Eusebiu de Cezareea|Eusebiu]] în jurul anului 338 şi Teodor în secolul al V-lea.
Against the background of trade between India and West Asia since ancient times, travel close to the coast of Arabia was feasible and not uncommon, reaching Malabar, the Tamil country, Sidh ( Scythia) and western India (Kalyan), around the time St. Thomas came to India.
There is a wealth of corroborative evidence to support, and no good reason to doubt the living tradition of Thomas Christians that the Apostle arrived in Kodungalloor (Muziris) in Kerala in 52 AD preached the [[ Gospel]], established seven churches, and moved on to other kingdom, returning to Madras (Mylapore) in 72 AD where he was martyred that year. Writers of the 4th century, St. Ephraim and St. John Chrysostom knew also about the relics of St. Thomas resting at that time in Edessa, having been brought there from India by West Asian merchants.
The Church founded by St. Thomas must have been rather spread out in the subcontinent including the North- West, the Western and Eastern coasts of the peninsula, probably also reaching Sri Lanka. Tradition associates the ministry of St. Thomas with the Indo- Parthian king, Gondophares in the north and with King Vasudeva (Mazdeo) of the Kushan dynasty in the South. It was the latter who condemned the Apostle to death.
==Una din Bisericile Primare==
The Orthodox Church in India is one of the 37 Apostolic Churches, dating from the time of the disciples of [[ Christ]]. Nine of these were in Europe and 28 in Asia and Africa. Today, it belongs to the family of the five Oriental Orthodox Churches, which include Syria, [[ Coptic| Egypt]], Ethiopia, and Armenia , and to the wider stream of the world's Orthodox churches, comprising in all over 150 million Eastern Christians. It has a strength of over 2 million members in about 1500 parishes mainly in Kerala and increasingly spread all over India and in many parts of the globe. Eastern in original and Asian in its moorings, the Indian Church is, a distinctive and respected part of the rich religious mosaic that is India.
Until the 16th century, there was only one Church in India, concentrated mainly in the south- west. The seven original churches were located at Malankara (Malayattur), Palayur ( near Chavakkad), Koovakaayal ( near North Paravur), Kokkamangalam ( South Pallippuram), Kollam, [http://www.niranamchurch.com Niranam] and Nilackel (Chayal). Of the same pattern adopted by the other Apostles, each local church was administered, guided by a group of Presbyters and presided over by the elder priest or bishop.
The Indian Church was autonomous then, and is now, like all Orthodox Churches. This is clear from the fact that no name of any church in India is seen in the now available list of bishoprics of the church in Persia from the fifth to the seventh century.
The Early Church in India remained one and at peace, treasuring the same ethnic and cultural characteristics as the rest of the local community. Its members enjoyed the goodwill of the other religious communities as well as the political support of the Hindu rulers. The Thomas Christians welcomed missionaries and migrants from other churches, some of whom sought to escape persecution in their own countries. The language of worship in the early centuries must have been the local language probably a form of Tamil. In later centuries, the liturgical language mingled with East Syriac received through the churches of Seleucia and Tigris.
==Legături cu Persia==
The Persian connection of the Indian churches has to bee seen in the context of the internal dissensions and state persecution of Christians in Persia from the 5th century. A Synod of the Persian Church (410 AD) affirmed the faith of [[ First Ecumenical Council| Nicea]] and acknowledged the [[ Metropolitan]] of Selucia- Ctesiphon as the Catholicose of East. Not long after, the Christological controversies of [[ Fourth Ecumenical Council| Chalcedon]], fuelled by the strains between the Persian and Byzantine empires, swayed the Persian church to declare itself "[[Nestorianism| Nestorian]]" and its head to assume the title of [[ Patriarch]] of the East (Babylon). From their base in then flourishing theological school of Nisibis, Nestorian missionaries began moving to India, Central Asia, China and Ethiopia to teach their doctrines- probably associating the churches in these countries with the work of St. Thomas the Apostle, whom the Persians must have venerated as the founder of their own church.
By the 7th Century, specific references of the Indian church began to appear in Persian records. The Metropolitan of India and the Metropolitan of China are mentioned in the consecration records of Patriarchs of the East. At one stage, however, the Indian church was claimed to be in the [[jurisdiction]] of the Metropolitan of Fars but this issue was settled by Patriarch Sliba Zoha (714-728 AD) who recognized the traditional dignity of the autonomous Metropolitan of India.