Among its proudest displays, the Cathedral of Lahore exhibits a small cross in a glass case. Known as the Taxila Cross, it was found in 1935 just outside the ruins of Sirkap, the second city of Taxila, and is commonly believed to signify that Christianity had taken root in the subcontinent shortly after the crucifixion of Christ. The ‘proof’ supporting this theory is a manuscript titled The Acts of St Thomas that was discovered in 1822 in Syria. According to this document, St Thomas having been assigned by Jesus to teach the gospel in India (now it is the part of Pakistan), arrived by boat at the seaside capital of King Gondophares. Working miracles, he successfully converted the king and all his subjects to Christianity.
Now, whenever the Acts was compiled and even in 1822 when it surfaced in Syria, Taxila had not yet been discovered. Only serious historians well-acquainted with the history of Alexander knew that it lay somewhere to the east of the Indus River in Punjab. When the cross was discovered in 1935, Cuthbert King the British deputy commissioner of Rawalpindi (twin city of Islamabad, Pakistan), evidently knew of The Acts of St Thomas and seized upon this find as ‘proof’ of the existence of Christianity in Punjab as early as the 1st century CE. His belief was strengthened by the fact that newly-excavated Sirkap did indeed date back to the 1st century. Along with the cross, they also found some coins marked with the cross.