Tag Archives: Sunday School

A fearless Indian Bishop who took on the Prime Minister despite the threat of jail

Metropolitan Juhanon Mar Thoma and Indira Gandhi, Prime Minster of India

On 25 June, 1975 –  nearly forty years years ago, Prime Minister of India Indira Gandhi unilaterally had a state of emergency declared across the country. Officially issued by President Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed under Article 352(1) of the Constitution for “internal disturbance”, the Emergency was in effect from 25 June 1975 until its withdrawal on 21 March 1977 (21 months). `

So what did the Emergency imply? Essentially, at the stroke of the President’s pen India ceased being a democracy and was converted into a virtual autocracy. Civil liberties were suspended, media was censored, state and parliamentary elections were postponed, and anyone who wrote or spoke against the Government was put behind bars. In the 21 months of the Emergency, 100,000 people were arrested and detained without trial. ~ www.thelogicalindian.com

Emergency declared by President Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed under Article 352(1) of the Constitution.

Under the Emergency rule, it was not easy to raise voices of critical opposition, in making even a mild-toned protest, one did so at considerable risk. Many kept silent because of the fear which spread among the people. Despite these pressures, some of the Christian groups made courageous attempts to express critical voices. It is significant to recognise that those who made the critical protests were not the representatives of the large institutional churches; rather, they were members of relatively small groups or of a minority group within the institutional church.

Metropolitan Juhanon Mar Thoma was the only Church leader who wrote a letter to her disapproving it. The Metropolitan’s letter stated that he deemed the Emergency rule as a setback to democracy and demanded its speedy withdrawal as well as the release of the politicians arrested in this regard.

His earlier statement was drafted in Malayalam in the fall of 1975. Even though it was not an entirely critical protest, but raised in a modest way a critical question, it was refused publication in Kerala. Metropolitan has written a brief yet pointed letter to Prime Minister Gandhi stating clearly his concern for the political situation.

A vast number of people, and that growing numbers, feel the price we have to pay is costly. With people like Morarji and others in jail, and a press which has lost its freedom to write news and views, we feel a kind of depression. On behalf of thousands, I request withdrawal of Emergency by gradual stages. Immediate and altogether withdrawal is likely to have very bad repercussions. If the political detenus are released and’ freedom for press is given, it will be a great relief.

“I have one more request: not to have elections and constitutional changes during the time of Emergency. Hoping to be excused for this letter written from a sincere and painful heart.” ~www.daga.org.hk

He wrote that he was writing as a Church leader and a citizen. Mrs Indira Gandhi gave orders to arrest Metropolitan Juhanon Mar Thoma. Mr. C. Achuthamenon was the Chief Minister at that time and with his interference the arrest was avoided. It was the Mar Thoma Church’s fight for independence and national integrity that echoed through Metropolitan Juhanon Mar Thoma, a fearless commitment to the concerns of the people that is hard to find among religious leaders now. On September 9, shortly after he wrote this letter, he fell ill and died on September 27, 1976.

The Hindu front page after imposition of the Emergency.

The first edition of the Indian Express after the imposition of emergency consisted of a blank page instead of editorial. The Financial Express had Rabindranath Tagore’s poem, “Where the mind is without fear, and the head is held high”.

28 June 1975 : Blank Edit  Page in The Indian Express Newspaper in Protest Against the Emergency

Where The Mind Is Without Fear

Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high
Where knowledge is free
Where the world has not been broken up into fragments
By narrow domestic walls
Where words come out from the depth of truth
Where tireless striving stretches its arms towards perfection
Where the clear stream of reason has not lost its way
Into the dreary desert sand of dead habit
Where the mind is led forward by thee
Into ever-widening thought and action
Into that heaven of freedom, my Father, let my country awake

~ Rabindranath Tagore
facebook-like
Advertisements

World Sunday School Day: 5 Nov 2017 (Free Ebook – Robert Raikes and how we got the Sunday School)

George Romney's portrait of Robert Raikes, the newspaperman who popularised schooling on Sundays Photo: National Portrait Gallery, London

George Romney’s portrait of Robert Raikes, the newspaperman who popularised schooling on Sundays Photo: National Portrait Gallery, London

5th November 2017 : World Sunday School Day – The first Sunday of the Month of November is celebrated throughout the world as Sunday School Day. The Mar Thoma/ CSI/ CNI churches are celebrating Sunday, 5th November, 2017 as World Sunday School Day.

Robert Raikes (1735- 1811), an English Publisher, started the first Sunday School in the city of Gloucester in England in 1780. During the early days, reading, arithmetic and Bible was taught at the Sunday Schools.

In 1809, Church representatives of the Malankara Churches held a meeting at Kandanadu Church, near Ernakualam to arrange facilities to teach children in the Church about religion, prayers and sacraments. The India Sunday School Union was founded in 1876.The Mar Thoma Sunday School Samajam was established on 25 February 1905, at the Maramon Convention. 


We encourage our readers to read and share this Free 4 page PDF Ebook Resource for your Sunday Schools and children’s services:  Robert Raikes and How We Got Sunday School


Inscription on the tomb of Robert Raikes.

Inscription on the tomb of Robert Raikes.

Mar Thoma Church’s role in Modi’s gift to Israeli Prime Minister

PMO India 01

The Malankara Mar Thoma  Syrian Church had a part to play in the historic visit of Indian Prime Minster Narendra Modi to Israel. PM Modi presented PM Netanyahu replicas of 2 sets of relics from Kerala that are regarded as key artifacts in the long Jewish history in India. One of them was was made possible with the cooperation of Malankara Mar Thoma Syrian Church which was publicly acknowledged by the Prime Minister on Twitter.

PMO India 02

They comprise two different sets of copper plates that are believed to have been inscribed in 9-10th century C.E. The first set of copper plates is a cherished relic for the Cochini Jews in India. It is regarded as a charter describing the grant of hereditary royal privileges and prerogatives by the Hindu King, Cheraman Perumal (often identified as Bhaskara Ravi Varma) to the Jewish leader Joseph Rabban. According to traditional Jewish accounts, Joseph Rabban was later crowned as the Prince of Shingli, a place in or equated with Cranganore.

PMO India 03.JPG

Cranganore is where Jews enjoyed religious and cultural autonomy for centuries, before they moved to Cochin and other places in Malabar. Local Jews once placed in each coffin a handful of earth from Shingli/Cranganore that was remembered as a holy place & a “second Jerusalem”. The replica of these plates was made possible with the cooperation of the Paradesi Synagogue in Mattancherry, Kochi.

PMO India 04

The second set of copper plates is believed to be the earliest documentation of the history of Jewish trade with India. These plates describe the grant of land and tax privileges by the local Hindu ruler to a church and oversight of trade in Kollam to West Asian and Indian trading associations. West Asian association included Muslims, Christians, Zoroastrians, as also a group of Jews who signed in Judeo-Persian and possibly also in Arabic and Pahlavi (Middle Persian). The plates bear their signatures that appear to have been cut into the plates by a local workman unfamiliar with the script. The replica of these plates was made possible with the cooperation of Malankara Mar Thoma Syrian Church in Thiruvalla, Kerala.

In addition, Prime Minister @narendramodi also presented PM @netanyahu a Torah scroll donated by the Paradesi Jewish community in Kerala. Handwritten over a hundred years ago, the scroll had been dedicated to the Paradesi Synagogue in Kochi that had been built in 1568. The Torah is enclosed on wooden staves in a wooden case adorned with silver sheets.

PMO India 07.JPG

And a metal crown covered in gold sheets in floral ornament style, bearing motifs typical of lamps and decorations of South India.

PMO India 08

World Sunday School Day: 6th November 2016 (Free Ebook – Robert Raikes and how we got the Sunday School)

George Romney's portrait of Robert Raikes, the newspaperman who popularised schooling on Sundays Photo: National Portrait Gallery, London

George Romney’s portrait of Robert Raikes, the newspaperman who popularised schooling on Sundays Photo: National Portrait Gallery, London

6th November 2016 : World Sunday School Day – The first Sunday of the Month of November is celebrated throughout the world as Sunday School Day. The Mar Thoma/ CSI/ CNI churches are celebrating Sunday, 6th November, 2016 as World Sunday School Day.

Robert Raikes (1735- 1811), an English Publisher, started the first Sunday School in the city of Gloucester in England in 1780. During the early days, reading, arithmetic and Bible was taught at the Sunday Schools.

In 1809, Church representatives of the Malankara Churches held a meeting at Kandanadu Church, near Ernakualam to arrange facilities to teach children in the Church about religion, prayers and sacraments. The India Sunday School Union was founded in 1876.The Mar Thoma Sunday School Samajam was established on 25 February 1905, at the Maramon Convention. 


We encourage our readers to read and share this Free 4 page PDF Ebook Resource for your Sunday Schools and children’s services:  Robert Raikes and How We Got Sunday School


Inscription on the tomb of Robert Raikes.

Inscription on the tomb of Robert Raikes.

23rd October 2016: Family Sunday Service (Free Malayalam pdf EBook)

the-principles-of-christian-family-life-malayalam-346x499

The Principles of Christian Family Life (Malayalam)

On 23rd October 2016 (20th Sunday after Pentecost), Family Sunday is celebrated by the CSI church, CNI church and the Mar Thoma Syrian Church. The focus of the service is on the “Faith that has to be formulated in family life”.

Download this free pdf Ebook published in Malayalam in 1951 that is still relevant to today’s Christian life. This book can be used as a resource for your Family Sunday service. The link can be shared and used by church members, parishes and church organizations. It can be accessed on any smartphone, tablet or computer for free.

The Principles of Christian Family Life (Malayalam) (Published in 1951)

download-ebook-icon

facebook-like

29 July 1955: Daniel Case – St.Thomas Evangelical Church of India separates from the Mar Thoma Syrian Church (with Rare Photos)

K. Ninan Daniel

K. Ninan Daniel

29 July, 1955: Mr. Daniel files suit against the Mar Thoma Metropolitan. On 29 July 1955, Mr. Nina Daniel, of Kurumthottikkal, Melukara Pathanamthitta District and three others filed a civil suit in the District Court of Kottayam against the then Metropolitan of the Mar Thoma Church Most Rev. Juhanon Mar Thoma and six others. Mr. K.N. Daniel, was a lay leaders in the Mar Thoma Church, an eminent liturgiologist, theologian, an author of many books, and a prominent lawyer.Most Rev. Juhanon Mar Thoma Metropolitan

According to Mr. Daniel, the Metropolitan favoured and accepted the faith of the Jacobite Church and as such he had no right to enter any of the Mar Thoma Churches and that he should not be allowed to continue as the Supreme Head of the Church. This case is known as the ‘Daniel Case’. This litigation lasted for almost 10 years and the final judgment from the Supreme Court of India came on 7 Jan 1965. In all the three courts (the District Court, Kerala High Court and the Supreme Court) verdicts were against Mr. Daniel.

spilt

This case was an unfortunate event in the history of the Mar Thoma Syrian Church and resulted in the formation of the St. Thomas Evangelical Church of India on 26 January 1961. Twenty priests who had been ordained in the Mar Thoma Church joined and pledged allegiance to the new Church.

DId you know

  • First defendant Most Rev. Juhanon Mar Thoma Metropolitan was examined through the judicial commission in the Mar Thoma Seminary in Kottayam. His examination took 35 hours over seven days.

Rev. C.V.JohnSecond defendant Rev. C.V.John was  examined for 11 days continuously  6 hours each day. (Total 66 hours)

Adv. K.T.ThomasAdv. K.T.Thomas appeared before all the three courts for the Mar Thoma Syrian Church without taking any remuneration. Total cost of the case was Rs. 13;239/- (today it could be in crores).

The book with all the verdicts published in English (1965)

The book with all the details of the Daniel Case published in English (1965)

The Malayalam translation of the Daniel case from English.

The Malayalam translation of the Daniel case from English.

Excerpts of the Daniel case.

Excerpts of the Daniel case.

Excerpts of the Daniel case.

Excerpts of the Daniel case.

Excerpts of the Daniel case

Excerpts of the Daniel case

Excerpts of the Daniel case

Excerpts of the Daniel case

facebook-like

World Sunday School Day: 1st November 2015 (Free Ebook – Robert Raikes and how we got Sunday School)

George Romney's portrait of Robert Raikes, the newspaperman who popularised schooling on Sundays Photo: National Portrait Gallery, London

George Romney’s portrait of Robert Raikes, the newspaperman who popularised schooling on Sundays Photo: National Portrait Gallery, London

1st November 2015 : World Sunday School Day – The first Sunday of the Month of November is celebrated throughout the world as Sunday School Day. The Mar Thoma/ CSI/ CNI churches are celebrating Sunday, 1st November, 2015 as World Sunday School Day.

Robert Raikes (1735- 1811), an English Publisher, started the first Sunday School in the city of Gloucester in England in 1780. During the early days, reading, arithmetic and Bible was taught at the Sunday Schools.

In 1809, Church representatives of the Malankara Churches held a meeting at Kandanadu Church, near Ernakualam to arrange facilities to teach children in the Church about religion, prayers and sacraments. The India Sunday School Union was founded in 1876.The Mar Thoma Sunday School Samajam was established on 25 February 1905, at the Maramon Convention. 


We encourage our readers to read and share this Free 4 page PDF Ebook Resource for your Sunday Schools and children’s services:  Robert Raikes and How We Got Sunday School


Inscription on the tomb of Robert Raikes.

Inscription on the tomb of Robert Raikes.

World Sunday School Day: 1st November 2014 (Free Ebook – Robert Raikes and how we got Sunday School)

George Romney's portrait of Robert Raikes, the newspaperman who popularised schooling on Sundays Photo: National Portrait Gallery, London

George Romney’s portrait of Robert Raikes, the newspaperman who popularised schooling on Sundays Photo: National Portrait Gallery, London

2nd November 2014 : World Sunday School Day – The first Sunday of the Month of November is celebrated throughout the world as Sunday School Day. The Mar Thoma/ CSI/ CNI churches are celebrating Sunday, 2nd November, 2014 as World Sunday School Day.

Robert Raikes (1735- 1811), an English Publisher, started the first Sunday School in the city of Gloucester in England in 1780. During the early days, reading, arithmetic and Bible was taught at the Sunday Schools.

In 1809, Church representatives of the Malankara Churches held a meeting at Kandanadu Church, near Ernakualam to arrange facilities to teach children in the Church about religion, prayers and sacraments. The India Sunday School Union was founded in 1876.The Mar Thoma Sunday School Samajam was established on 25 February 1905, at the Maramon Convention. 


We encourage our readers to read and share this Free 4 page PDF Ebook Resource for your Sunday Schools and children’s services:  Robert Raikes and How We Got Sunday School


Inscription on the tomb of Robert Raikes.

Inscription on the tomb of Robert Raikes.

Pages from History: Hamilton’s start VBS (Vacation Bible School) in India (1952)

Rev. Lester John Hamilton and Mrs. Mary Hamilton

The Hamiltons (American Missionaries,) arrived in India in 1951 and were given only a brief period of language study before being plunged into the activities of the South India Bible Institute in Bangarapet, Kolar District, Karnataka. But they both continued to learn Kannada throughout their ministry in India, and found themselves quite at home with the language.

In 1952, Mrs. Mary Hamilton was requested to prepare materials for a model Vacation Bible School, and this was so well received that it has grown to become an annual event in many parts of India, and other countries in the world.

Now millions of children are attending VBS classes in different countries in different languages. Even though the Hamilton’s turned over the leadership of the VBS office into national hands, they continued to remain involved with it and gave their time and assistance until they left India in 1985.

Rev. and Mrs. Hamilton were teachers in the South India Biblical Seminary in Bangarapet, in Karnataka. They both were highly talented and have enriched the lives of many who came in contact with them. Their many and varied contributions to the ministries of South India Biblical Seminary and the Vacation Bible school movement will not be soon forgotten and we thank God for having brought them to serve in India.

Rev. Lester John Hamilton and Mrs. Mary Hamilton

Rev. Lester John Hamilton and Mrs. Mary Hamilton

 

Pages from History: Birth of Hymn writer Fanny Crosby (1820)

24 March, 1820: Birth of Hymn writer Fanny Crosby. Frances Jane Crosby commonly known as Fanny Crosby, was an American lyricist best known for her Protestant Christian hymns. She was one of the most prolific hymnists in history, writing over 8,000 hymns despite becoming blind after birth. She is also known for her preaching and speaking. During her lifetime Fanny Crosby was one of the best known women in the States.

To this day, the vast majority of American hymnals contain her work. Some of her best known songs include “Blessed Assurance”  “Jesus Is Tenderly Calling You Home” “Praise Him, Praise Him” and “To God be the Glory”. Since some publishers were hesitant to have so many hymns by one person in their hymnals, Crosby used nearly 100 different pseudonyms during her career.

Hymn writer Fanny Crosby

Hymn writer Fanny Crosby