As many as 800 Christians, mostly farm labourers, returned to their original roots i.e. Hinduism, at a ceremony organised by Hindu Makkal Katchi (HMK) at Sangitha Sabha, Tirunelveli, in Tamil Nadu on April 14. It is important to note that the home coming ceremony took place in the DMK stronghold.
According to reports, the dalit Christians were facing discrimination at the hands of upper class Christians in their respective parishes. HMK leader Shri Arjun Sampath said around 800 members from 185 families, 500 men, 220 women and 80 children, returned home. These Christians, a mix of Protestants and Roman Catholics were originally Hindus and their forefathers had converted to Christianity five generations back. The converts were from the Kattampuzhi, Pannampaarai, Anandhapuram, Radhapuram and Thisayanvizhai villages.
The homecoming ceremony started at 6 am with Ganapati and Sundarshan homams. A group of priests?Sri Sengol Athinam, Sri Sankarananda Swamy, Sri Sadasivanandha and Sri Ragavendra Swamy?performed the rituals at the ceremony.
In addition to the naming ceremony, the respective sect symbol depending on their past allegiances, sacred ash for the Shaivites and the U-shaped tilak for the Vaishnavites were given. After the ceremony, they also offered prayers at the famous Swamy Nellaiappar Gandhimathy Ambal temple in Tirunelveli town.