India today marks 75 years since the country became independent and ended almost 200 years of British colonial rule. It also marks the partition of the subcontinent into India and Pakistan.
India will soon become the world’s most populous nation, projected to overtake China’s 1.4 billion population next year, according to the UN.
For St. Thomas Christians, there is still no doubt that theirs is an unbroken tradition going back to his arrival in the year 52CE to preach and baptize. We acknowledge VCC Member Churches who trace their spiritual lineage back to India including the Mar Thoma Syrian Church in Victoria.
The Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church, also known as the Indian Orthodox Church, traces its origins to St. Thomas, one of the twelve apostles of Jesus Christ, in the first century (A.D. 52). The Church has today grown to over 3.5 million faithful. Beginning in the early 1970s, several Keralites migrated to Australia in search of better lives for themselves and their families. With the growing number of Orthodox families, the need was felt to establish a Church following Indian Orthodox tradition. The St. Mary’s Indian Orthodox Church (SMIOC) was established on 30th August 1980 at East Coburg.
For the Diversity of Races and Cultures
you created all people in your image.
We thank you for the astonishing variety
of races and cultures in this world.
Enrich our lives by ever-widening circles of friendship,
and show us your presence
in those who differ most from us,
until our knowledge of your love is made perfect
in our love for all your children;
through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.
– From the Lutheran Book of Worship: Minister’s Desk Edition