इंडियन आवाज़     03 Dec 2023 01:58:23      انڈین آواز

Prez releases Postage Stamp commemorating 200 years of ‘Old Seminary’

TIA Correspondent

The President, Mr.  Pranab Mukherjee released a Postage Stamp commemorating the 200 years of the Orthodox Theological Seminary or Old Seminary, Kottayam, Kerala at Rashtrapati Bhavan here today.

Speaking on the occasion, the President said that for nearly 14 Centuries, the three major religions of Kerala, Hinduism, Christianity and Islam have existed in peace and harmony, respecting each other’s belief and cooperating to promote social welfare. In fact, Kerala was the first state in the country in which both Christianity and Islam took roots with people voluntarily choosing different religious beliefs.

The Old Seminary was set up by the Malankara Orthodox Church situated in Kerala, a state known for the peaceful co-existence of different religions and communal harmony. The Seminary and the Orthodox Church played their part in achieving this goal which led to the state realizing the complete separation of spiritualism and communalism. The lighting of oil lamps in and around Churches, the raising of the flagstaff and flags during festivals and the custom of entering the Churches barefoot are all Hindu traditions that have become a part of the Church practice. These bear testimony to the sharing of traditions by both the religions.

The President said that the Orthodox Church has made enduring contributions to the betterment of the life of the people of Kerala. The role of the Church in spreading education cannot be ignored. Christian Community established a large chain of elementary Schools throughout Kerala, under the supervision of the Seminary and its leaders. The Seminary was the first indigenous initiative towards universal literacy and education, which has today made Kerala the most literate state in the country.

The President said that it is not without reason that the Seminary has to its credit several ‘firsts’ in the area of Human Development, apart from its contributions to the training and development of the clergy of the Church. He said that he was informed that the ‘Cottayam College’, which was co-located with the Seminary was the first English teaching institution in the State.

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