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Christianity in Kerala

Updated on March 30, 2017
C.S.I. Church, Kozhikode
C.S.I. Church, Kozhikode

With 19% of the total population, Christianity is the third most practiced religion in Kerala. In India, Christian representation is more in the state.

See the Table below detailing the features of population of the three main religions.

(click column header to sort results)
District with Highest Population  
Dist. with Lowest Population  
Decadal Population Growth  
- 1.48
+ 1.70
- 0.32

19% of the Kerala population are Christians. It roughly means one out of five Keralites are Christians! Their population is 6,057,427. The highest Christian concentration is in Ernakulam and the lowest in Malappuram district. Amusingly, Malappuram has the largest population of Muslims. The decadal population of both Hindus and Christians show a negative trend. (Hindus: -1.48 and Christians: -0.32 growth). At the same time, the total population growth of Muslims shows an alarming increase of +1.70. When Hindus and Christians adopt a two children policy, Muslims prefer to have more children on religious sentiments. The Hindus and Christians have now even shifted to one child policy.

Out of the total 14 districts in Kerala, except Malappuram (Muslim dominated) Hindus are the majority in all other districts. Though Christians with a population of 6,057,427 remain in 3rd place, they are not a majority in any of the districts. Their main concentration is in Ernakulam but behind Hindus.

The community has contributed richly towards the overall progress and developments of the state. They have done tremendous work for the impressive achievements of Kerala in the fields of education, healthcare, poverty alleviation, infrastructures and social upliftment of the whole society.

The educational institutions, hospitals, etc., established and run by the Christian managements are of high standards and in great demand for its excellence in quality. The Christians are richer in almost all fields when compare with the other community. They are said to be relatively affluent too.

Their hard work has resulted in the growth of Kerala's agricultural sector largely. A good number of Christians are in Medical field as Doctors, Nurses and Technicians. Many of them have migrated to the Europe and the USA and thus supporting the Kerala economy too.

St. Thomas
St. Thomas


St. Thomas, who landed at Malankara, near Cranganore (now Kodungallur) in the year 52 AD is considered the Father of Christianity in India. He preached Christianity first among the Jews. Later he converted some Brahmins (Hindu Upper Caste) into Christianity. He also founded seven Churches at various places in Kerala.

After the discovery of Sea route to India by Vasco de Gama in 1498, the flow of the European missionaries increased and intense activities (including conversion) began. Also, because of the British invasion and resultant colonialism by the 17thcentury, many missionaries from Europe reached the state and Christianity started to flourish on this soil. Like Islam, Christianity too propagated in Kerala and it is believed that the religion spread to other parts of India from Kerala.

Today, the community in Kerala is divided into different denominations. They can be classified under three major groups-Catholics, Orthodox and Protestant. Also, there are a few more Dioceses of other Protestant denominations like the Church of South India (CSI).

Church on Backwaters-Alleppey (Alappuzha)
Church on Backwaters-Alleppey (Alappuzha)

I am proud to reveal that my city (Kozhikode/Calicut) has an old CSI Church. This ancient Church is one of the major attractions there. The CSI Hall, CSI Shopping Complex, B.E.M. (Basal Evangelical Mission) School and Kurisupally all are the glowing symbols of vibrant Christianity of Kerala. These add a special charm to the already beautiful Mananchira Square built in the heart of the Kozhikode city.

Vallarpadam Church, Ernakulam
Vallarpadam Church, Ernakulam
Click thumbnail to view full-size
It is time to cheers too.  People rush to buy their bottle of Spirit! A large consumption of  Alcohol takes place during Christmas holidays.
It is time to cheers too.  People rush to buy their bottle of Spirit! A large consumption of  Alcohol takes place during Christmas holidays.
It is time to cheers too. People rush to buy their bottle of Spirit! A large consumption of Alcohol takes place during Christmas holidays.
A church on the banks of Alappuzha back waters
A church on the banks of Alappuzha back waters
One of the oldest Churches in Kozhikode built by the Portugese
One of the oldest Churches in Kozhikode built by the Portugese
The English Church, Nadakkavu, Kozhikode
The English Church, Nadakkavu, Kozhikode

© 2012 Sunil Kumar Kunnoth


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    • sunilkunnoth2012 profile image

      Sunil Kumar Kunnoth 3 years ago from Calicut (Kozhikode, South India)

      Thanks for reading my article and commenting on. You are right that we have several churches in Malabar. Today I visited Mahe to attend the church festival there. It was a fantastic experience. Both Hindus and Christians together took part in the devotional process and other activities.

    • profile image

      sebin 3 years ago

      your note was good in malabar they are somsny other churches and christian areas are there like mahe church,pallikkunnu church(wayanad),and somany migrated areas like irikkoor,peravoor(kannur),thiruvambady,koorachundu(kozhikkode),mananthavady,pulppally(wayanad),vellarikkundu(kasargode),nilambur(malappuram),

    • sunilkunnoth2012 profile image

      Sunil Kumar Kunnoth 3 years ago from Calicut (Kozhikode, South India)

      John Mathew

      Sure, I will try to do one article on Kerala Muslims in the near future. Thanks for your suggestion.

    • profile image

      John Mathew 3 years ago

      Please write an article about Muslims in Kerala as well and their great contributions to Kerala and India.

    • sunilkunnoth2012 profile image

      Sunil Kumar Kunnoth 4 years ago from Calicut (Kozhikode, South India)

      Just google on and you will get the required address and details.

    • profile image

      K.Anandraj 4 years ago

      Who Should be Conducted for Convert in to Christianity in Kerala Kozhikode? Kindly Mail Me.

    • sunilkunnoth2012 profile image

      Sunil Kumar Kunnoth 5 years ago from Calicut (Kozhikode, South India)

      Thak you Sibin Varghese,

      I will come and do some work on it.

    • profile image

      Sibin Varghese 5 years ago

      you r also welcome to kottayam& pathanamthitta ...good scope to ur efferts.

    • sunilkunnoth2012 profile image

      Sunil Kumar Kunnoth 5 years ago from Calicut (Kozhikode, South India)

      Hi Cholleti,

      Thanks for your comments. I have plan to write more on Kozhikode (Calicut). Sure Mananchira will have a prominent place in my next hub. Keep on reading and following my hubs. Once again Thanks for your patience to go thru' my hubs.

    • profile image

      cholleti 5 years ago

      good to have all these information at one place.

      know more "about mananchira square kozhikode"

    • sunilkunnoth2012 profile image

      Sunil Kumar Kunnoth 5 years ago from Calicut (Kozhikode, South India)

      Hi Benny Sebastian,

      You have given me valuable and advice, which I noted with seriousness. I shall visit the place you mentioned and write hubs touching all those aspects. Sure, it is right that the Hindu rulers have given their helping hands to the christian community and helped them lavishly. I will write on that point also soon. I wish you too enjoy this global writers' platform called "HubPages" sooner or later. Thank you.

    • profile image

      Benny Sebastian M.G. Kavu 5 years ago

      Dear Sunil, Your notes attracted me just because of its depth. You ought to have visited more christian centres of other districts of Kerala such as Kottayam, Thrissur and Ernakulam. In Trichur District of Central Kerala there is a Basilica built in the name of Our Lady of Dolours and a tower (360 metre total height) named as Bible Tower adjoining the Basilica is a never to miss sight of Trichur, Which will be open on all days except Monday. From the very top of the tower you can see the entire district which is marvellous. In Kottayam District you can watch the tomb of St.Alphonsa who lived and died in a convent in Bharananganam during early 2oth centrury. In Ernakulam you can see even a jew synagogue which speaks volumes of communal amity. So keep in touch with these places and learn more about the helps received by christian community from the ruling hindu kings of yesteryears, and post your new blog on the said subject.

    • sunilkunnoth2012 profile image

      Sunil Kumar Kunnoth 6 years ago from Calicut (Kozhikode, South India)

      Hi Charmike4,

      Thanks for your compliments and nice praise on my writing.

    • charmike4 profile image

      Michael Kromwyk 6 years ago from Adelaide, South Australia

      These churches look amazing Sunil. They remind me of the churches in the South Pacific that have been built for the climate (lot's of ventilation). I also found the history interesting, tracing the roots back to St. Thomas is amazing. Cheers Michael


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