Posts Tagged ‘Dr Ernest Neve’

In Kashmir Valley 125-y-old church opens again for prayers.

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With less than 1,000 Christians in the Kashmir Valley according to official estimates, St Luke’s Church was shut down for prayers before the onset of militancy in Jammu and Kashmir. The church remained abandoned for decades until 2016 when the Christian community approached the J&K administration.

With Christmas around the corner, a dozen people gathered in Srinagar on Wednesday and offered prayers inside the 125-year-old St Luke’s Church — for the first time in over three decades.

With less than 1,000 Christians in the Kashmir Valley according to official estimates, St Luke’s Church was shut down for prayers before the onset of militancy in Jammu and Kashmir.

The church remained abandoned for decades until 2016 when the Christian community approached the J&K administration. The renovation work has started last year, halted for a while due to the pandemic, and restarted a few months ago.

Inside the  Church there is a library and people used to come and read there. But this was for the first time since the 1980s that prayers were held here and the church bells rang.

The church is being revamped with a budget of Rs 90 lakh as a Srinagar Smart City project under the Center’s Smart Cities Mission. There are no seating or heating arrangements in place yet. Therefore was no Xmas mass held this year.

The St Luke’s Church situated in the foothills of Koh-e-Sulaiman or Shankaracharya hill which was built in 1896 by Dr Arthur Neve and his younger brother Dr Ernest Neve, who were with a missionary hospital that mainly provided treatment to TB patients. The hospital and the church were built by British engineers. In the 1960s, the doctors handed over the hospital to the J-K government. The main reason for the closure (in the 1980s) was that the Christian hospital staff moved out of the Valley.

Source: Embassy of India in Hungary

Update Aggie Reiter