The Christ Church of Amritsar that is intertwined with Jallianwala bagh massacre of April 1919!!

Christ church,close to RamBagh gate, Amritsar,  

Among the colonial churches of the then undivided Punjab, India the Christ Church Cathedral of Amritsar, one of the oldest in that state,  is not only an historical church but also  is intertwined with  the worst massacre that was staged at  Jallianwala Bagh on April 13 1919. Its repercussions in the aftermath of blood bath impacted the whole nation and later shook the conscience of the western world..  

Erected in 1862 by Edward Palmer, an Englishman, the church was the center of  missionary activities of the CMS at Amritsar.  In 1952 it became the HQ of the CMS under Rev Robert Clark, 

As the elite church -St Pauls built in 1853  exclusively for the British officers and soldiers near Rialto Chowk, native Indians were not allowed to pray there. Christ church  was widely used by the Indian Christians.and the services have been conducted in ‘Hindustani’ since its inception. Unlike St Pauls (located out side the  walled city), this church  was  close to Jallianwala Bagh, where the tragedy was struck, Brig  Gen. Reginald Dyer, having got the orders to shoot the people from the Punjab Gov, Michael O'Dwyer as the political situation was chaotic, went berserk and without warning had his troops shoot the innocent people including women and children  gathered in the bagh to celebrate Baisakhi, an important Hindu festival. There was continuous shooting (until they ran out of ammunition) on the unarmed people fleeing the only gate  open, The casualty was 1000 people (non official) and equal number of  people were badly injured.  No emergency medical aid and no  ambulance facility. Many injured persons  were bled to death with no first aid. 

This mass murder infuriated the people there and soon the Christ church was attacked and damaged. St Paul’s Church, escaped from the people's fury as it was outside the walled city. The sad story is the church and the Church Missionary Society (CMS) in 1919 took the brunt of the outrage  of the freedom fighters. In 1919 it was demolished by fire. However the  native Christians slowly began  rebuilding the church soon after. The work on the new church building in British architecture was completed in 1921. 

Named  Christ Church and renovated in 1948-49, some important changes were made to improve the look of the church. The new changes included  the ‘Good Shepherd’ window made of stained glasses. Crafted in England and installed atop the  newly designed  main altar, Originally, it was a gift from Lady Harding to St Thomas Church of Shimla and  was brought from there to Christ Church after the de-consecration of St Thomas Church in 1948. It also included  nicely  carved pulpit and many other stuff from Shimla. Apart from improved flooring and new facade, the inscription of the Bible verse  in Urdu, was set in the holiest place as before, right in front of the high altar. since its inception in 1862 the church has been a silent spectator of so many historical events associated with the freedom struggle. Apart, it was a center of baptism in this part of Punjab. The history of the church has a permanent link with the Jallianwala Bagh massacre. 

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