By Ch.A. Hawley
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Within the outdated testomony, God commanded the folk of Israel to construct the Tabernacle with what He had instructed them? —that is, with gold, silver, bronze, blue, pink, and scarlet thread, high-quality woven linen, goat? ’s hair, ram skins dyed purple, badger skins, and acacia wooden. Like this, it truly is with the gospel observe of the water and the Spirit, the fabrics of religion set by way of God, that we also needs to construct the holy apartment of religion in our hearts.
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Such anxiety would not have been seen as normal in the past, though the events of the Partition of India in 1947 should stop us from assuming that the different faiths inevitably rub along nicely. At the level of the neighborhood, communities, however, religious differences do not generally create problems, with people sharing different foods, rituals, and festivals. Indeed the idea that only one religion is right and all others wrong was largely an alien concept in the region until rather recently.
For example, one practice in local religious traditions is that all who live in the place must contribute to any communal ritual, since incomplete participation reduces its efficacy. When reading the report by the earliest Naga missionary in 1891 that “For the village feasts and revels and for the old demon worship, taxes were levied on the Christians which must be paid or their property confiscated”,40 the reader should be aware that the contribution was demanded from all the residents of the village and not just Christians whose attendance was proscribed.
The degree of accommodation between Roman and Orthodoxy was initially influenced by Portuguese uncertainty as well as, perhaps, by generosity. However, church reforms after the Council of Trent (1545–1563) progressively pressured the Syrians. 27 The thoroughly contextualized Thomas Christians had to adopt new doctrines and practices: veneration of icons and of the cross indicative of “respectful worship”; confirmation separate from baptism; clerical celibacy(thoughSyrianbishops,likeallOrthodox,hadbeensingle); thedoctrine of purgatory (from which the prayers of the living could deliver the dead); restriction of wine to the clergy at the Eucharist.
A Critical Examination of the Peshitta Version of the Book of Ezra by Ch.A. Hawley