Did you know that the Mughal Emperor Akbar, commissioned one of the earliest churches to be built in North India? Built in 1598 CE, this church in Agra, which is still called ‘Akbar’s Church’ formed the core around which a thriving Armenian Christian community flourished. It also played witness to some tumultuous events in Indian history!
A man who loved to open his mind to new influences, Akbar could have been introduced to Christianity through the Jesuit missionaries he invited to his court from Goa. Around the same time, there was also a large thriving community of Armenian Christian merchants, jewelers and bankers living in the Mughal capital of Agra and when the Jesuits expressed a wish to build a church here, Akbar obliged and donated generously for the small chapel.