Christianity in India
Christianity is India's second-largest minority religion after Islam, with 28 million followers, constituting 2.3 percent of India's population. According to Indian tradition, the Christian faith was introduced to India by Thomas the Apostle, who reached the Malabar Coast in 52 AD. According to another tradition Bartholomew the Apostle is credited with introducing Christianity along the Konkan Coast. There is a general scholarly consensus that Christian communities were established in India by the 6th century AD, including some communities who used Syriac liturgies. Christianity in India is made up of people from different church denominations; the state of Kerala is home to the Saint Thomas Christian community, an ancient body of Christians, who are divided into several different churches and traditions. They are East Syriac Saint Thomas Christian: the Chaldean Syrian; the Malankara Orthodox Syrian, Malankara Jacobite Syrian, Mar Thoma Syrian, Syro-Malankara Catholic, the Malabar Independent Syrian are West Syriac.
Saint Thomas Anglicans are in the Anglican tradition and are members of the CSI. Since the 19th century, Protestant churches have been present. Ecclesial traditionalist churches like CSI, the CNI, Traditional Anglicans and other ecclesial groups of CSI synod have presence; the Christian Church runs thousands of educational institutions and hospitals which have contributed to the development of the nation. Roman Catholicism was introduced to India by the Portuguese and Irish Jesuits in the 16th century under the influence of its allied empires. Most Christian schools, primary care centres originated through the Roman Catholic missions brought by the trade of these countries. Traditional Anglicanism was introduced by the British missions under British Empire which shares a common ecclesial traditions with Catholicism. Evangelical and reformed Protestantism was spread to India by the efforts of America and independent missionaries to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ among Indians, majority of whom suffered militant persecution and were martyred as they did not had background support from mainstream powerful churches.
The Protestant missions introduced formal English education in India and produced early translations of the Holy Bible in Indian languages. Though Christians are a significant minority, they form a major religious group in three states of India - Meghalaya and Nagaland with plural majority in Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh and other states with significant Christian population include Coastal Andhra, Tamil Nadu, Kanara, the south shore and North-east India. Christianity in India to a larger extent has been traditional in its practices and hasn't witnessed any Indigenous revival and local Church-planting movements in history like their counterparts in the other parts of the world. Moreover, a significant number of Indians profess personal Christian faith outside the domain of traditional and institutionalized Christianity and do not associate with any Church or its conventional code of belief. Two ancient testimonies exist about the mission of Saint Bartholomew in India; these are of Saint Jerome.
Both these refer to this tradition while speaking of the reported visit of Pantaenus to India in the 2nd century. The studies of Fr A. C. Perumalil SJ and Moraes hold that the Bombay region on the Konkan coast, a region which may have been known as the ancient city Kalyan, was the field of Saint Bartholomew's missionary activities. Evangelic activities of Saint Thomas is a disputed topic among Christian scholars. Historians believe that Saint Thomas and other Apostles spread in different directions for missionary activities, but most of them had died in different places due to a myriad of reasons. As per Christian scholars and historians, Saint Thomas as well as couple of other Apostles worked and died in present day Syria. But, according to Indian Christian traditions, the Apostle Thomas arrived in Malabar Coast presently in the Indian state of Kerala Kodungallur Kerala, established the Seven Churches and evangelised in present-day Kerala and Tamil Nadu; as with early Christianity in the Roman Empire, it is assumed that the initial converts were Jewish proselytes among the Cochin Jews.
Many of these Jews spoke Aramaic like St. Thomas a Jew by birth, credited by tradition with evangelising India. A more claim by Eusebius of Caesarea is that Pantaenus, the head of the Christian exegetical school in Alexandria, Egypt went to India during the reign of the Emperor Commodus and found Christians living in India using a version of the Gospel of Matthew with "Hebrew letters, a mixture of culture." This is a plausible reference to the earliest Indian churches which are known to have used the Syriac New Testament. Pantaenus' evidence thus indicates that Syriac-speaking Christians had evangelised parts of India by the late 2nd century. An early 3rd-century Syriac work known as the Acts of Thomas connects the tradition of the apostle Thomas' Indian ministry with two kings, one in the north and the other in the south; the year of his arrival is disputed due to lack of credible records. According to one of the legends in the Acts, Thomas was at first reluctant to accept this mission, but Jesus over-ruled the stubborn disciple by ordering circumstances so compelling that he was forced to accompany an Indian merchant, Abbanes
Paul Olaf Bodding
Paul Olaf Bodding was a Norwegian missionary and folklorist. Paul Olaf Bodding was born at Gjøvik in Norway, he was the son of Betzy Emilie Wennevold. Bodding was the son of a bookseller, he first met the founder of The Indian Home Mission to the Santals, Lars Olsen Skrefsrud, in his father's bookshop in Gjøvik. Skrefsrud was born just in Oppland. Bodding studied theology at the University of Kristiania and graduated in 1889. In 1890, he arrived Santalistan as missionary priest; when Skrefsrud died in 1909, Bodding took over as the leader of the Norwegian missionary organization Santaline Mission. He served in India for 44 years, operated from the town Dumka in the Santhal Parganas-district. Bodding created the first alphabet and wrote the first grammar for the Santali-speaking native people in eastern India. In 1914 he completed the translation of the Bible into the Santali language, he was a celebrated scientist, he is still well known among the santals living in the states of Jharkhand and Assam as well as in Bangladesh and the Scandinavian countries.
After returning from India in 1934, Bodding settled with his Danish born wife Christine Larsen in Odense, Denmark where he died during 1938. Cecil Henry Bompas published Folklore of the Santal Parganas compiled from stories collected by P. O. Bodding. In 2006, Olav Hodne issued a biography in his book Oppreisning. A monument to Bodding stands in front of Gjøvik church in Oppland. Materials for a Santali Grammar I, Dumka 1922 A Chapter of Santal Folklore, Oslo 1924 Santal Folk Tales, 1925–29 Studies in Santal Medicine and Connected Folklore, 1925–40 A Santal Dictionary, 1933–36 Santal Riddles and Witchcraft among the Santals, 1940 Friedrich Wilhelm Bautz. "Paul Olaf Bodding". In Bautz, Friedrich Wilhelm. Biographisch-Bibliographisches Kirchenlexikon. 1. Hamm: Bautz. Col. 643. ISBN 3-88309-013-1. Olav Hodne Oppreisning, Misjonæren og vitenskapsmannen Paul Olav Bodding ISBN 8253133316 Folklore of the Santal Parganas by Cecil Henry Bompas at Project Gutenberg; the Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod - Christian Cyclopedia at www.lcms.org Christine Bodding and Paul Olaf Bodding at Darjeeling, North India, ca. 1930
India known as the Republic of India, is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh largest country by area and with more than 1.3 billion people, it is the second most populous country as well as the most populous democracy in the world. Bounded by the Indian Ocean on the south, the Arabian Sea on the southwest, the Bay of Bengal on the southeast, it shares land borders with Pakistan to the west. In the Indian Ocean, India is in the vicinity of Sri Lanka and the Maldives, while its Andaman and Nicobar Islands share a maritime border with Thailand and Indonesia; the Indian subcontinent was home to the urban Indus Valley Civilisation of the 3rd millennium BCE. In the following millennium, the oldest scriptures associated with Hinduism began to be composed. Social stratification, based on caste, emerged in the first millennium BCE, Buddhism and Jainism arose. Early political consolidations took place under the Gupta empires. In the medieval era, Zoroastrianism and Islam arrived, Sikhism emerged, all adding to the region's diverse culture.
Much of the north fell to the Delhi Sultanate. The economy expanded in the 17th century in the Mughal Empire. In the mid-18th century, the subcontinent came under British East India Company rule, in the mid-19th under British Crown rule. A nationalist movement emerged in the late 19th century, which under Mahatma Gandhi, was noted for nonviolent resistance and led to India's independence in 1947. In 2017, the Indian economy was the world's sixth largest by nominal GDP and third largest by purchasing power parity. Following market-based economic reforms in 1991, India became one of the fastest-growing major economies and is considered a newly industrialised country. However, it continues to face the challenges of poverty, corruption and inadequate public healthcare. A nuclear weapons state and regional power, it has the second largest standing army in the world and ranks fifth in military expenditure among nations. India is a federal republic governed under a parliamentary system and consists of 29 states and 7 union territories.
A pluralistic and multi-ethnic society, it is home to a diversity of wildlife in a variety of protected habitats. The name India is derived from Indus, which originates from the Old Persian word Hindush, equivalent to the Sanskrit word Sindhu, the historical local appellation for the Indus River; the ancient Greeks referred to the Indians as Indoi, which translates as "The people of the Indus". The geographical term Bharat, recognised by the Constitution of India as an official name for the country, is used by many Indian languages in its variations, it is a modernisation of the historical name Bharatavarsha, which traditionally referred to the Indian subcontinent and gained increasing currency from the mid-19th century as a native name for India. Hindustan is a Middle Persian name for India, it was introduced into India by the Mughals and used since then. Its meaning varied, referring to a region that encompassed northern India and Pakistan or India in its entirety; the name may refer to either the northern part of India or the entire country.
The earliest known human remains in South Asia date to about 30,000 years ago. Nearly contemporaneous human rock art sites have been found in many parts of the Indian subcontinent, including at the Bhimbetka rock shelters in Madhya Pradesh. After 6500 BCE, evidence for domestication of food crops and animals, construction of permanent structures, storage of agricultural surplus, appeared in Mehrgarh and other sites in what is now Balochistan; these developed into the Indus Valley Civilisation, the first urban culture in South Asia, which flourished during 2500–1900 BCE in what is now Pakistan and western India. Centred around cities such as Mohenjo-daro, Harappa and Kalibangan, relying on varied forms of subsistence, the civilization engaged robustly in crafts production and wide-ranging trade. During the period 2000–500 BCE, many regions of the subcontinent transitioned from the Chalcolithic cultures to the Iron Age ones; the Vedas, the oldest scriptures associated with Hinduism, were composed during this period, historians have analysed these to posit a Vedic culture in the Punjab region and the upper Gangetic Plain.
Most historians consider this period to have encompassed several waves of Indo-Aryan migration into the subcontinent from the north-west. The caste system, which created a hierarchy of priests and free peasants, but which excluded indigenous peoples by labeling their occupations impure, arose during this period. On the Deccan Plateau, archaeological evidence from this period suggests the existence of a chiefdom stage of political organisation. In South India, a progression to sedentary life is indicated by the large number of megalithic monuments dating from this period, as well as by nearby traces of agriculture, irrigation tanks, craft traditions. In the late Vedic period, around the 6th century BCE, the small states and chiefdoms of the Ganges Plain and the north-western regions had consolidated into 16 major oligarchies and monarchies that were known as the mahajanapadas; the emerging urbanisation gave rise to non-Vedic religious movements, two of which became independent religions. Jainism came into prominence during the life of Mahavira.
Buddhism, based on the teachings of Gautama Buddha, attracted followers from all social classes excepting the middle
Tiruvalla, alternately spelled Thiruvalla, is a town and the headquarters of the Taluk of same name located in Pathanamthitta district in the State of Kerala, India. The town ity is spread over an area of 27.94 km2, it is the biggest commercial centre in the district of Pathanamthitta. It lies on the banks of the rivers Manimala and Pamba, is a land-locked region surrounded by irrigating streams and rivers. Tiruvalla is regarded as the "Land of Non resident Indians ". Tiruvalla is famous for the dance of Kathakali, hosted in the Sreevallabha temple everyday in an year; the town spans a geographic area of 27.94 km² with a population of 56,828 as of 2001. Males constitute 48% of the population and females 52%. In Tiruvalla, 10% of the population is under 6 years of age. Tiruvalla has a large Non-Resident Indian Community. Kerala State Road Transport Corporation has a depot at Tiruvalla, one among the 29 major depots in the state. Main article: Tiruvalla Railway station Tiruvalla railway station is the sole railway station in Pathanamthitta district.
The nearest airports are Cochin International Airport. Old tradition tells that the name Tiruvalla comes from the word "Valla Vaay", named after the river Manimala, known as Vallayār in ancient times. Before roads were developed,Tiruvalla village developed at the mouth of river Vallayar,connected far and near places through waterways, hence known as Valla vāi.. The Dravidian Prefix'Thiru attached to it and became Thiruvalla. At the time of Aryan migration to south India it become one of the 64 Brahmin settlements, they correlated. Sree Vallabha is the presiding deity of the Tiruvalla Temple and argues that shreevallabha Puram became Tiruvalla. Tiruvalla as per the Sanskrit work "श्रीवल्लभ क्षेत्र माहात्म्यम्" is "श्रीवल्लभपुरम्"; the work is said to be of 10th century CE. Tiruvalla lies at an altitude of 21 m above sea level, on the basin of the rivers Pamba and Manimala. Tiruvalla is dotted with several natural canal streams like Chanthathodu, Manippuzha and several others; the city area has riverine alluvial soil, eastern parts have a laterite loam kind of soil classified under "Southern Midlands" agro-ecological zone, while the western suburbs like Niranam have a more sandy type of soil that resembles beaches.
The reason for this is believed to be the older status of Niranam as a port, before reclamation of Kuttanad from sea occurred. The Upper Kuttanad region in Tiruvalla has the "Karappadam" type of soil, clay loam in texture, has high organic matter, is situated in areas about 1–2 m above sea level; the climate of Tiruvalla is classified as tropical. There is significant rainfall in most months of the year; the short dry season has little effect on the overall climate. The Köppen-Geiger climate classification is Am; the temperature here averages 27.3 °C. In a year, the average rainfall is 2975 mm. At an average temperature of 29.0 °C, April is the hottest month of the year. July has the lowest average temperature of the year, it is 26.4 °C. Between the driest and wettest months, the difference in precipitation is 574 mm. Precipitation is the lowest in January, with an average of 22 mm. With an average of 596 mm, the most precipitation falls in June. Due to proximity to the equator, Tiruvalla has less variation in average temperature.
During the year, the average temperatures vary by 2.6 °C. This article is about the history of the settlements in areas of present city around the temple, known as Tiruvalla. For the history of the places in Tiruvalla refer: History of Niranam, History of Koipuram, History of Kumbanad, History of Kavumbhagom. There is plenty of evidence to suggest that the area had been inhabited since 500 BCE, although an organized settlement was only founded around 800 CE; the present day areas of Niranam, Kadapra on the western part of Tiruvalla were submerged under the sea before then. It is one of the 64 ancient brahmana graamams. Stone axes have been reported from Tiruvalla. Tiruvalla got civilized earlier; the Aryan culture presented Tiruvalla as one of the 64 Brahmin settlements of Kerala, one of the important too. Ptolemy mentions the Baris river, the present "Pamba" river. Tiruvalla was an important commercial centre with the Niranam port in olden days, described by Pliny as "Nelcynda". At this light, the "Bacare" could have been modern "Purakkad".
The fact that modern western Tiruvalla contains the coastal kind of sand, several sea shells in the soil despite being land locked proves that prior to the reclamation of Kuttanad from sea and the whole western Tiruvalla could have been a coastal area. Upto the beginning of the 10th century CE, Ays were the dominant powers in Kerala; the Ay kings ruled from Tiruvalla in North to Nagercoil in South. Ptolemy mentions this as from Baris to Cape Comorin "Aioi". By 12th century, we get the picture from the Tiruvalla copper plates, which are voluminous records that centre around the social life around the temple; the society The Tiruvalla temple had a large Vedic learning school, one of the foremost learning centres in Kerala. The Tiruvalla salai was one of the richest among the Vedic schools of Kerala, according to the copper plates, the pupils of the school were fed with 350 nazhis of paddy every
Kerala, locally known as Keralam, is a state on the southwestern, Malabar Coast of India. It was formed on 1 November 1956, following passage of the States Reorganisation Act, by combining Malayalam-speaking regions. Spread over 38,863 km2, Kerala is the twenty-second largest Indian state by area, it is bordered by Karnataka to the north and northeast, Tamil Nadu to the east and south, the Lakshadweep Sea and Arabian Sea to the west. With 33,387,677 inhabitants as per the 2011 Census, Kerala is the thirteenth-largest Indian state by population, it is divided into 14 districts with the capital being Thiruvananthapuram. Malayalam is the most spoken language and is the official language of the state; the Chera Dynasty was the first prominent kingdom based in Kerala. The Ay kingdom in the deep south and the Ezhimala kingdom in the north formed the other kingdoms in the early years of the Common Era; the region had been a prominent spice exporter since 3000 BCE. The region's prominence in trade was noted in the works of Pliny as well as the Periplus around 100 CE.
In the 15th century, the spice trade attracted Portuguese traders to Kerala, paved the way for European colonisation of India. At the time of Indian independence movement in the early 20th century, there were two major princely states in Kerala-Travancore State and the Kingdom of Cochin, they united to form the state of Thiru-Kochi in 1949. The Malabar region, in the northern part of Kerala had been a part of the Madras province of British India, which became a part of the Madras State post-independence. After the States Reorganisation Act, 1956, the modern-day state of Kerala was formed by merging the Malabar district of Madras State, the state of Thiru-Kochi, the taluk of Kasaragod in South Canara, a part of Madras State; the economy of Kerala is the 12th-largest state economy in India with ₹7.73 lakh crore in gross domestic product and a per capita GDP of ₹163,000. Kerala has the lowest positive population growth rate in India, 3.44%. The state has witnessed significant emigration to Arab states of the Persian Gulf during the Gulf Boom of the 1970s and early 1980s, its economy depends on remittances from a large Malayali expatriate community.
Hinduism is practised by more than half of the population, followed by Christianity. The culture is a synthesis of Aryan, Dravidian and European cultures, developed over millennia, under influences from other parts of India and abroad; the production of pepper and natural rubber contributes to the total national output. In the agricultural sector, tea, coffee and spices are important; the state's coastline extends for 595 kilometres, around 1.1 million people in the state are dependent on the fishery industry which contributes 3% to the state's income. The state has the highest media exposure in India with newspapers publishing in nine languages English and Malayalam. Kerala is one of the prominent tourist destinations of India, with backwaters, hill stations, Ayurvedic tourism and tropical greenery as its major attractions; the name Kerala has an uncertain etymology. One popular theory derives Kerala from alam; the word Kerala is first recorded as Keralaputra in a 3rd-century BCE rock inscription left by the Maurya emperor Ashoka, one of his edicts pertaining to welfare.
The inscription refers to the local ruler as Keralaputra. This contradicts the theory that Kera is from "coconut tree". At that time, one of three states in the region was called Cheralam in Classical Tamil: Chera and Kera are variants of the same word; the word Cheral refers to the oldest known dynasty of Kerala kings and is derived from the Proto-Tamil-Malayalam word for "lake". The earliest Sanskrit text to mention Kerala is the Aitareya Aranyaka of the Rigveda. Kerala is mentioned in the Ramayana and the Mahabharata, the two Hindu epics; the Skanda Purana mentions the ecclesiastical office of the Thachudaya Kaimal, referred to as Manikkam Keralar, synonymous with the deity of the Koodalmanikyam temple. Keralam may stem from the Classical Tamil chera alam; the Greco-Roman trade map. According to Tamil classic Purananuru, Chera king Senkuttuvan conquered the lands between Kanyakumari and the Himalayas. Lacking worthy enemies, he besieged the sea by throwing his spear into it. According to the 17th century Malayalam work Keralolpathi, the lands of Kerala were recovered from the sea by the axe-wielding warrior sage Parasurama, the sixth avatar of Vishnu.
Parasurama threw his axe across the sea, the water receded as far as it reached. According to legend, this new area of land extended from Gokarna to Kanyakumari; the land which rose from sea was filled with unsuitable for habitation. Out of respect and all snakes were appo
Jesus referred to as Jesus of Nazareth and Jesus Christ, was a first-century Jewish preacher and religious leader. He is the central figure of Christianity, is described as the most influential person in history. Most Christians believe he is the incarnation of God the Son and the awaited Messiah prophesied in the Old Testament. All modern scholars of antiquity agree that Jesus existed although the quest for the historical Jesus has produced little agreement on the historical reliability of the Gospels and on how the Jesus portrayed in the Bible reflects the historical Jesus. Jesus was a Galilean Jew, baptized by John the Baptist and began his own ministry, he preached orally and was referred to as "rabbi". Jesus debated with fellow Jews on how to best follow God, engaged in healings, taught in parables and gathered followers, he was arrested and tried by the Jewish authorities, turned over to the Roman government, crucified on the order of Pontius Pilate, the Roman prefect. After his death, his followers believed he rose from the dead, the community they formed became the early Church.
The birth of Jesus is celebrated annually on December 25th as Christmas. His crucifixion is honored on his resurrection on Easter; the used calendar era "AD", from the Latin anno Domini, the equivalent alternative "CE", are based on the approximate birthdate of Jesus. Christian doctrines include the beliefs that Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit, was born of a virgin named Mary, performed miracles, founded the Christian Church, died by crucifixion as a sacrifice to achieve atonement for sin, rose from the dead, ascended into Heaven, from where he will return. Most Christians believe; the Nicene Creed asserts that Jesus will judge the living and the dead either before or after their bodily resurrection, an event tied to the Second Coming of Jesus in Christian eschatology. The great majority of Christians worship Jesus as the incarnation of God the Son, the second of three persons of the Trinity. A minority of Christian denominations reject Trinitarianism, wholly or as non-scriptural. Jesus figures in non-Christian religions and new religious movements.
In Islam, Jesus is considered one of the Messiah. Muslims believe Jesus was a bringer of scripture and was born of a virgin, but was not the son of God; the Quran states. Most Muslims do not believe that he was crucified, but that he was physically raised into Heaven by God. In contrast, Judaism rejects the belief that Jesus was the awaited Messiah, arguing that he did not fulfill Messianic prophecies, was neither divine nor resurrected. A typical Jew in Jesus' time had only one name, sometimes followed by the phrase "son of <father's name>", or the individual's hometown. Thus, in the New Testament, Jesus is referred to as "Jesus of Nazareth". Jesus' neighbors in Nazareth refer to him as "the carpenter, the son of Mary and brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon", "the carpenter's son", or "Joseph's son". In John, the disciple Philip refers to him as "Jesus son of Joseph from Nazareth"; the name Jesus is derived from the Latin Iesus, a transliteration of the Greek Ἰησοῦς. The Greek form is a rendering of the Hebrew ישוע, a variant of the earlier name יהושע, or in English, "Joshua", meaning "Yah saves".
This was the name of Moses' successor and of a Jewish high priest. The name Yeshua appears to have been in use in Judea at the time of the birth of Jesus; the 1st-century works of historian Flavius Josephus, who wrote in Koine Greek, the same language as that of the New Testament, refer to at least twenty different people with the name Jesus. The etymology of Jesus' name in the context of the New Testament is given as "Yahweh is salvation". Since early Christianity, Christians have referred to Jesus as "Jesus Christ"; the word Christ was a office, not a given name. It derives from the Greek Χριστός, a translation of the Hebrew mashiakh meaning "anointed", is transliterated into English as "Messiah". In biblical Judaism, sacred oil was used to anoint certain exceptionally holy people and objects as part of their religious investiture. Christians of the time designated Jesus as "the Christ" because they believed him to be the Messiah, whose arrival is prophesied in the Hebrew Bible and Old Testament.
In postbiblical usage, Christ became viewed as a name—one part of "Jesus Christ". The term "Christian" has been in use since the 1st century; the four canonical gospels are the foremost sources for the message of Jesus. However, other parts of the New Testament include references to key episodes in his life, such as the Last Supper in 1 Corinthians 11:23. Acts of the Apostles refers to the early ministry of its anticipation by John the Baptist. Acts 1:1 -- 11 says more about the Ascension of Jesus. In the undisputed Pauline letters, which were written earlier than the gospels, the words or instructions of Jesus are cited several times; some early Christian groups had separate descriptions of the life and teachings of Jesus that are not included in the New Testament. These include the Gospel of Thomas, Gospel
Richard Knill was an English missionary. He was born at Braunton, Devon, on 14 April 1787, the fourth child of Richard Knill, a carpenter, Mary Tucker. In 1804 he enlisted as a soldier, was shortly afterwards bought out by his friends, he became a student of the Western Academy at Axminster in 1812, under the influence of a sermon by Dr. Alexander Waugh, volunteered for missionary work, he was accepted by the London Missionary Society, embarked for Madras 20 April 1816. There he engaged in English services for the schools and residents, while studying the native languages, his health soon failed, he was sent in September 1818 to Nágarkoil in Travancore, after suffering from the cholera, he returned to England 30 November 1819. A cold climate was recommended, he sailed on 18 October 1820 for St. Petersburg, intending to proceed to Siberia as a missionary. On the persuasion of the British and Americans, he consented to remain in that city, where he laboured and obtained the support of the emperor and the royal family.
He met various members of the Russian nobility including several of the Golitsyn family Prince Aleksandr Nicolaevich Golitsyn who served as President of the Russian Bible Society. He was a friend of John Venning and John Paterson who were missionaries as well as advocates of Russian prison reform. A Protestant Bible Society was formed for supplying the Bible in their own tongues to Germans, Poles and other persons not belonging to the Greek church. A school was opened for the children of foreigners, a mission to the sailors at Kronstadt established, he returned to England in August 1833 to obtain funds for erecting a larger church in St. Petersburg, his labours were so successful in creating funds and friends for the London Missionary Society, that he was requested to remain at home, for eight years he visited every place in the United Kingdom, advocating the claims of the foreign missions. On 1 January 1842 he settled down as congregational minister at Wotton-under-Edge, where he remained until his removal to Chester in 1848.
During his last days he preached in the Chester Theatre for twenty Sunday afternoons. Knill was influential in encouraging Charles Spurgeon to seek salvation and to be a preacher of the gospel, he spent several days with the child Spurgeon at Stambourne Parsonage in 1844, home of Spurgeon's grandfather, praying with him and teaching him. He announced to Charles and his family that the child would one day preach the gospel to great multitudes. Knill was overjoyed to learn of Spurgeon's ministry and wrote to Spurgeon's grandfather in 1855 to express this. Spurgeon preached for Knill in Chester. Knill died at 28 Queen Street, England on 2 January 1857. On 9 January 1823 he married Sarah, daughter of James and Isabella Notman, a native of St. Petersburg, by whom he had five children; the Farmer and his Family, 1814 Memoir of the Life and Character of Walter Venning, 1822 The Influence of Pious Women in Promoting a Revival of Religion, 1830 Some Account of John Knill, 1830 The Happy Death-bed, 1833 A Traveller arrived at the End of the Journey, 1836 A Dialogue between a Romish Priest and R. Knill, Missionary, 1841 A Scotchman Abroad, 1841 Judith Cohen Zacek, The Russian Bible Society and the Russian Orthodox Church, Church History, XXXV, Dec. 1966, pp. 3-28.
This article contains a bibliography dealing with the English in St. Petersburg in the 1820s.'C. H. Spurgeon,'Autobiography Part 1 - The Early Years', 1962Attribution This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Lee, Sidney, ed.. "Knill, Richard". Dictionary of National Biography. 31. London: Smith, Elder & Co