Wednesday, 7 September 2016

Old Moravian Church, Leh - highest church in India


The Moravian church,Leh,-Ladakh. holidayiq.com
 Christianity is not new to India and has been here since the arrival of St. Thomas (in  52 AD), one of the disciples of Christ on the Malabar coast of Kerala, southern  India. Until the arrival of the Portuguese,  English, Dutch and  French, the propagation of Christianity had been very slow. Though  European missionaries' evangelical works did not yield the expected results, not withstanding their hard work, they were mainly instrumental in starting numerous schools in remote places, imparting western education, including native tongues. The Christian community grew in size over a long period of time in the 18th and 19th centuries. It forms the third largest religion in India. North Eastern states and Kerala have a good concentration of Christian communities of various denominations.

 The Moravian church is one of the oldest and smallest of the Protestant denominations and it  traces its origin to Moravia and Bohemia,which are now provinces of Czechoslovia. The mission of this church across the world is to bring the people to Lord and share his love.
Moravian Church, Leh, India.indiaopines.com/
A small 300-member Moravian community in Herrnhut, Germany sent missionaries to the Danish West Indies in 1732. Since then, Moravian missionaries had traveled to nook and corner of the world to  spread the Gospel of  Jesus Christ. They reached the mountain tops  of Ladakh, India, the savannas of South America
and  the prairies of the US. Today, Moravian churches or societies worship and minister in nearly thirty nations and number over 700.000 believers.

The Moravian church,Leh-Ladakh. . www.tripdesigners.co/
The Moravian  Church in Leh in the border area of Pakistan, China and Tibet is a Protestant Church that was established  in 1885 by Moravian missionaries who came from Herrnhut in Saxony (eastern Germany). Their mission was to convert the  natives living here to Christianity. The natives here were  Tibetan Buddhists and they had been practicing Buddhism for centuries. They also found out that it was difficult to preach Christianity and convert the natives to a new faith. However, they  continued their mission and became pioneers in education, Allopathic medicine, vegetable gardening, agriculture, printing, improvement of  the Ladakhi iron hearth (thab), knitting, weather monitoring etc.  An  interesting aspect of their mission was to give secular education  and, not the one just based on religion alone. Over the decades, the school became popular and presently, the school has  an enrollment of about one thousand students. I believed that the British explorer one  Aurel Stein had his right foot's toes amputated on 14th of Octobe, 1907 near here they were severely affected by frost bite, while crossing the 18,100 feet high Karakoram Pass, leading to Asia. This Moravian church is at an altitude of 11,000 feet  and is believed to be one of  the highest churches in the world.