Knanaya Catholic Congress of North America (KCCNA)
The Knanaya Community traces its origin back to a Jewish-Christian immigrant community. They migrated from Southern Mesopotamia to the Malabar ( present Kerala ) Coast of Cranganore ( Kodungalloor ) in AD 345 under the leadership of an enterprising merchant Thomas of Cana ( Knai Thomman ). This migration is considered as a turning point in the history of St Thomas Christians of Malabar. The original community consisted of about 400 persons belonging to 72 families of seven clans. A bishop by name Uraha Mar Yousef, four priests and several deacons were among them. They formed themselves into an endogamous community by keeping their tradition and culture but co-existed peacefully among the St. Thomas Christians in India.These colonists were welcomed by Cheraman Perumal, then king, and were given permission to settle down in Kodungalloor. Later, Cheraman Perumal bestowed them with 72 royal privileges, and it was recorded on copper plates ( Knai Thomman Cheppedu ). According to the Copper plates, these privileges were given to Thomas and his colleagues and all of his descendents as long as the sun and moon exist. These privileges are very important since all these privileges had influenced the community’s social life as well as the social status in the past years.