The Oath of Coonan Cross

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  • Topic: Syrian Malabar Nasrani, Saint Thomas Christians, Christianity in India
  • Pages : 3 (1152 words )
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  • Published : November 11, 2010
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Koonen Cross, the Oath of (published in RGG4)
Koonen Kurisu is a usage in Malayalam, the language of the St.Thomas Christians of India, and it means in English crooked Cross and in German das gebeugte Kreuz. It is the granite cross in front of the Church of Our Lady in Mattanchery, in a place near Kochi in Kerala. According to the local tradition the cross became bended in 1653 by the result of an oath taken by hundreds of St. Thomas Christians by holding a rope which was tied to the top of it. The Oath of the Koonen Cross (1653) is one of the major events in the modern history of Christianity in India. It was a revolt of St.Thomas Christians against the Roman Catholic Church and in that capacity the first Freedom Struggle of the Indians against the colonial powers.

Definitely the Oath of Koonen Cross was the after effect of the Synod of Diamper held in June,1599. The Synod of Diamper (Malayalam: Udayamperoor Sunnahados ), of a place near Kochi, was the product of the Roman Catholic attempt to subjugate the St.Thomas Christians under the yoke of Rome. The architect of the Synod was Alexis de Menezis (Dom Alexio da Menezis), the Archbishop of Goa. The rude and arrogant bishop of Portuguese origin and the Jesuits found that the Indian Christians were not accepting Rome and that their relationships were with the bishops of the Middle East. Moreover, the Church of St.Thomas was having many heretical practices in the eyes of the Portuguese. Through the decisions of the Diamper Synod Menezes tried to cleanse the Church of India, which he considered as of Nestorian faith and he wanted it to be latinized at any cost. The vandalism of Menezis could be learned from the events of burning libraries of Ankamali, Chengannur and Cheppad. The modern students of history find it as a sad chapter of history, because many ancient docu-ments in Syriac as well as in Malayalam were put to flames, which if existed would have shown light to many questions regarding the history of...
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