Basel Evangelical Mission celebrates 200 years of formation

The formation of Basel Evangelical Mission to fulfill the pledge taken by a group of faithful Christians, in Basel (Switzerland) 200 years ago, continues to retain the original intention and purpose of the Basel Mission but in new form in the context of modern India through witness and service, for which all of us are grateful to God, said Church of South India (CSI) Moderator Most Rev Dr G Dyvasirvadam.

Addressing a gathering after inaugurating the bicentenary celebrations of the Basel Mission and an international seminar here on Thursday, he said that it was time to remember the faithful Christians and their vast legacy in the fields of language, literature, technology, education, industry, agriculture and interfaith relations. A church was also established by the missionaries, who came to India in 1834. 

“Having landed at Calicut, and after a short stay, they moved to Mangaluru which eventually became the headquarters of the Basel Mission (BM) in India,” he said and added that in the course of a little more than two decades, their work had spread to three major areas: South Canara and Coorg; South Mahratta (North Karnataka) and Malabar regions. “Their missionary zeal and commitment made them to pioneer in the area of education, language, literature and industry,” he said.

Speaking on the occasion, MLC Ivan D’Souza lauded the works of the Basel Mission and said that the Mission had contributed significantly towards the development of coastal region, especially in the field of education and health. “The coastal people will not forget the contribution of the Basel Mission,” he said.

Earlier, a thanksgiving worship was held at Shanthi Cathedral which was followed by a procession to the Karnataka Theological College, to inaugurate the two day international seminar.  Central University of Karnataka Vice Chancellor Prof H M Maheshwaraiah was the chief guest while CSI-KSD Bishop Rt. Rev. Mohan Manoraj presided over the programme.

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