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EVIDENCE EXAMINED ABOUT VISIT OF ST. THOMAS THE APOSTLE TO TAXILA

Updated: June 14, 1988 05:00 PM GMT
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A late-May symposium at the Christian Study Center in Rawalpindi testified to growing interest about the famed Buddhist shrine at Taxila being sacred to Christians, too, as the site of St. Thomas the ApostleĀ“s visit.

Scholars and historians attending the symposium discussed the historical evidence relating to the visit. Taxila is known as the center of the ancient Buddhist kingdom of Ghandara (500 B.C. to A.D. 200). Archeologists have uncovered the site of several Buddhist monasteries at Sirkap a few miles from Taxila, and the Pakistan government has given 10 acres of land for the construction of a modern Buddhist monastery.

According to tradition, enroute to India St. Thomas passed through Taxila and preached at the court of King Gondophares. The discovery at these ruins of a two-inch long cross has lent support to this belief. And today, many Christians go there on pilgrimage in the belief that it is the venue of his visit.

The symposium was jointly sponsored by the Pakistan Christian History Project, the Rawalpindi Diocesan Pastoral Center and the Christian Study Center.

PakistanĀ“s Ministry of Religious Affairs and the Ministry of Culture and Tourism are thought to be interested in the proposal made by Father Rahmat Hakim of the Diocesan Pastoral Center to raise a suitable monument to St. Thomas at the site of Sirkap.

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