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Church of south India

Church of South India came into being in 1947 Sept 27 as the result long discussion and
debate many years. As a united church this is the union of four major church namely 1) Anglican
church 2) Presbyterian Church 3) Methodist church and 4) congregational church with a
membership of over 3.8 million. The inauguration of the Church of South India opened a new
chapter in the history of the churches. This was the first time in history such a union was realised
between Episcopal and non-Episcopal churches. It is India's second largest Christian church after
the Roman Catholic Church in India.

The inspiration for the Church of South India was born from ecumenism and inspired by
the words of Jesus Christ as recorded in the Gospel of John, 17.21 That they all may be one; as
thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe
that thou hast sent me. That they all may be one is also the motto of the Church of South India.

When C.S.I. was inaugurated there were fourteen dioceses. Today the church has twenty-
four dioceses and more than 2 million members. There are eight dioceses in Tamil Nadu, six in
Andhra Pradesh, six in Kerala, three in Karnataka, and one in Sri Lanka. The logo of the CSI is a
cross superimposed on a stylized lotus and surrounded by the motto and the name of the church.
In Indian mythology, the lotus flower is the seat of the Creator. The petals of the lotus and the
cross are knitted together with the symbol of the fiery-tongues of the Holy Spirit as referenced in
the book of the Acts of the Apostles. It is an expression of the people's communion with God.
The central position of the cross in the logo conveys the idea that it was the sacrifice that was
made by Jesus on the cross that is the foundation of the Church. The four ends of the cross
painted in deep color indicates that it is the cross that guides all Christians to join in one stream
to pray and labor united for a peaceful coexistence and communal harmony.

CSI East Kerala Diocese and its background understanding

CSI East Kerala Diocese Formed as the 21st diocese on April 3 1983 but this is one of the fastest
growing Churches in Anglican Communion. With the headquarters in Melukavumattom,
comprise the whole of Idukki and Eastern part of Ernakulam and Kottayam districts of the
beautiful State of Kerala in India.
The Diocese with no financial resources but
rich in faith and determination to serve God through evangelism, pastoral care and overall
development, these three are the main aim of the church. With Gods help, tis diocese work
extremely hard to serve the people, supply food and shelter for the poor, provide primary health
care, operate hostels for tribal children, run educational institutions and run self-help
programmes for the weaker, neglected and displaced members of the society.

The Church Missionary Society began work in this area in 1848 and Rev. Henry Baker
Junior came as the first missionary. He is now remembered as The Apostle of the Hills.
History tells that people from Melukavu met Rev. Henry Baker at Kottayam and said, You must
know we know nothing right. Will you teach us or not? We die like beasts and are buried like
dogs! Ought you to neglect us? Cholera and fever carried off members of our family. Henry
Baker decided to move eastward and mission work started immediately. Liberation became part
of Bakers mission and is still a major part of work today. He was a person who highly educated,
theologically and secularly, he studied medicine, he started schools, done social work along with
evangelism. This was the great main reason of his ministerial success. When he began his work,
untouchability, pollution by sight and caste distinctions prevailed and human beings were
bought and sold as slaves. Inspired by Gods love, Baker spent his whole life among these
people, establishing places of worship, schools and shelters for the sick and dying. These were
pioneering efforts to free lower castes from a state of servitude and shame.
As a growing Church now about 65,000 members in the Diocese. Number of Churches-
237, Mission Fields -53 , of which 3 are in the Slums of Delhi. The diocese is having different
boards with their own mission for doing evangelism as well as social upliftment.

Economic Context

Agriculture is the main economic activity of the people in the diocese. It includes the
cultivation of food crops and cash crops as well as small poultry and animal husbandry. Due to
the high cost of living, people of these places have switched to cash crops in order to get
adequate money to meet education and health and other basic needs. Cash crops substituted by
the food crops, it is also according to the demand of the global market. This major shift becomes
a crucial crisis in economic system. For the initial expenditure and investment for cash crops
they borrowed money. To pay back the borrowed money they need to look for maximum yield.
For that farmers advised to use chemical fertilizers which are very expensive and harmful to the
society at large. It resulted in the cause of disequilibrium in the economic system and the society.

Now a days agriculture sector is undergoing a major crisis. The crisis effects every level
of a framers life. It can be on the basis of economic, political, social and cultural level.

Industry

Through the influence of the Globalization there are major changes in the agricultural in
the economy. Peace and harmony in the society is decreasing day by day. People becoming self
centered and money minded, they are ready to do anything and everything for money.
Everywhere corruption and injustice evident in the society. There is no community relationship
and mutual sharing. Major shift from food crops to industrial or cash products was the turning
point. This made major development in industrial sector; it badly affected the majority of poor in
the economy.

Social Context

In the Diocese majority of the people are coming under middle class and below that,
including Tribals, Dalits and Advasis. Especially the tribal and Dalit are suffering for their daily
needs. Their condition is vulnerable; they are economically exploited, politically marginalized,
socially and culturally oppressed and deprived. They lack sufficient education, health care
facilities. There are discriminations on the basis of money, power and position. Poor are always
suffering for meeting their basic needs of life, such as food, shelter, proper health care, basic
education etc. they work hard for their minimum needs. In other side some are enjoying with all
multi facilities and having a luxuries life style. In the early periods there we could see the people
work together for the common hood, they helped each other, now through the impact of
modernization all are after money and their on benefits. A culture called self centered, me, my
family, my church. Not understanding the other in the society and his needs. There is caste
system and caste feeling among the people in a silent way also gender discrimination can be seen
evidently in the society and the church.

Conclusion

With Gods help, we the CSI East Kerala Diocese work extremely hard to serve our people. We
supply food and shelter for the poor, provide primary health care, operate hostels for tribal
children, run educational institutions and run self help programmes for the weaker, neglected and
displaced members of our society. All this we do through our local efforts and the wonderful
help of our friends. Despite our success so far, we now recognise that we also have to make a
supreme effort to safeguard the longer term future of our children. If they are to live secure and
safeguard their faith in this changing world and live happily, we need to offer leadership, training
and development to create new skills and new opportunities for them to meet the new challenges
that we face.