Thomas is said to have been a Syrian merchant, distinct from Thomas the Apostle, who preceded him in evangelising in India.
The western coast of India has served as the safe shore for many from the west, especially the Middle East, fleeing percussion. Jews, Christians, Zoroastrians, Bahai, Tibetans, Hindus, Muslims… the list goes own. There is no reason why we should stop now.
Even today, Syrian Christians of Kerala are referred to as Nasranis the Arabic name for Christians. Until the later part of the 20th century, prayers and rituals were conducted in Syriac Aramaic. You can read more about the Lifestyle of Kerala Syrian Christianshere.
If we are truly want to be a global power, we need to do our part. Accept and offer refuge to those in need is vital for us, not just for PR or image building but for us to become a more mature and civil society. Perhaps we will see that our caste based issues are nothing compared to being forced to flee your home due to the treat of IS.
Let’s change this. Let’s offer refugee to Syrians in need. We have done this in the past, Antonio Guterres, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) says India is an example for other countries to emulate. We can’t let they Syrians down and we shouldn’t wait for our government to take the lead.
Write to the PMO, MEA and your local MP to ask them to consider hosting more Syrian refugees. We have offered scholarships to those from conflict environments like Afghanistan. Several million young Syrians are missing out on an education. We can do out part. Think and act before it is too late.