KERALA RELIGIONS

 

KERALA RELIGIONS :: STATE OF KERALA :: The Ultimate Destination of Kerala Information

Kerala is unique in India for its diverse mix of religions. According to Census of India figures, 56% of Kerala residents are Hindus, 24% are Muslims, 19% are Christians, and the remaining 1% follow other religions including Sikhism, Jainism, Buddhism, Judaism.

Hindus basically consists of castes such as the Ezhavas, Nairs, Dalits and Kerala Brahmins.

The Abrahamic religions attest to Kerala 's prominence as a major trade center. Judaism arrived in Kerala with spice traders, possibly as early as the 7th century BC.A significant Jewish community existed in Kerala until the 20th century when most emigrated to Israel leaving only a handful of families. In AD 52, Christianity reached the shores of Kerala with the arrival of St. Thomas, one of the Twelve Apostles of Jesus Christ. The major Christian denominations are Syrian Catholic, Latin Catholic, Malankara Catholic, Jacobite, Malankara Orthodox and Protestants. The general consensus among historians is that Islam arrived in Kerala through Arab traders either during the time of Prophet Muhammad himself (AD 609 - AD 632) or in the following few decades. In the 7th Century, the Zamorine of Kozhikode allowed these traders to settle and form a major community in Kozhikode, from where the religion gradually spread in the following centuries.

Jainism, which arrived in Kerala around the 3rd century BC, has a considerable population of in the Wayanad district bordering the Karnataka state.

Each of these religions have left a mark on Kerala with major sites of worship that draw numerous pilgrims. The major Hindu pilgrimage centers are located in Guruvayur, Sabarimala, Ettumanoor, and Chottanikkara. Christians have prominent churches and shrines in Malayattoor, Arthungal, Bharananganam, Kuravilangad, Parumala, Manarcaud, Vallarpadam, Edathua, and Edapally. One famous Muslim mosque is located at Ponnani. Kerala Jews centered in the city of Kochi have the Cochin Synagogue, the oldest synagogue in India.

Notably, Keral a's various religious communities have lived together in relative peace and amicability.

 


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