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Indian Subcontinent >> India >> Kerala >> Religion in Kerala

Religion in Kerala

A history of interaction with foreigners dating back to 3rd century BC has made Kerala a multi-religious society. The earliest trade was with the Egyptians, Babylonians, Phoenicians and Chinese. Jesus’ doubting apostle, St. Thomas’ arrival is pegged around 52 BC, some of the Jewish Diaspora in the 1st century AD landed at Kerala’s shores around AD 70 and the 8th century saw the establishment of strong trade ties with the Arabs. Of the colonizers, Kerala attracted the attentions of the Portuguese, the Dutch and the British. As a result, the tiny land of Kerala is home to Hindus, Buddhists, Muslims, Christians, (particularly Syrian Christains), Jews, Jains, and atheists, the Malayali senior citizens being almost all card-carrying communists.

Hindus are the largest religious community in Kerala, where there are also significant populations of Christians and Muslims. A large section of Keralan Christians belong to the Syrian Christian Church. There are also a few Jains and Buddhists, and very few of the famous “Jews of Kochi” still live here.

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