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MAR THOMA SYRIAN CHURCH OF MALABAR

 

The Malankara Mar Thoma Syrian Church was believed according to the tradition to be founded by St. Thomas, an Apostle of Christ on his visit to India, in 52 CE as an integral National Identity of the one "Apostolic and Catholic Church as declared in the Nicene Creed".

 

The Mar Thoma Church is Eastern in worship, Episcopal in tradition, Orthodox in doctrine, democratic in administration, oriental in worship practices and ecumenical in vision. Some of its salient features are strong Biblical emphasis, evangelical outlook, missionary zeal, theological concerns and social commitments.  Being an indigenous National Church, it is autonomous, self-supporting and self-propagating.

 

The Mar Thoma Church upholds the Councils of Nicea, Constantinople and Ephesus.  It is one of the founding members in the work of ecumenical organisations like the World Council of Churches (WCC), National Council of Churches in India (NCCI), Christian Conference of Asia (CCA), Kerala Council of Churches (KCC), and Participant in the National Missionary Society (NMS) and the Bible Society of India.  It is in full communion with the worldwide Anglican Communion, the Church of South India (CSI), the Church of North India (CNI) and the Malabar Independent Syrian Church.

 

The object and mission of the Church is to keep and safeguard the faith as revealed by Christ and taught by the Apostles, to promote the spiritual life of the faithful through the administration of the Sacraments and the preaching of the Word, and to proclaim the Gospel to all nations and to bear witness as per the instructions received by the faithful.

 

The Church is at present blessed by the able leadership of thirteen bishops and is headed by the Most Rev. Dr. Joseph Mar Thoma Metropolitan who is the 21st Malankara Metropolitan to occupy the Holy Apostolic, Throne of St. Thomas.  The Mar Thoma Sabha Office situated at Thiruvalla, Kerala functions as the headquarters of the Church while the Sabha Prathinidhi Mandalam (Representative Assembly) is the chief executive body.  The Malankara Sabha Tharaka serves as the official organ of the Mar Thoma Church.

 

The Mar Thoma Syrian Church is a global church having its presence in every continent through its 12 dioceses which include nearly 1200 parishes and congregations.  The church is served by about 1000 clergy (Vicar Generals: 11, Active Clergy: 821, Retired Clergy: 165) who administer to the needs, spiritual and otherwise of the laity which number approximately 1.5 billion members.

 

The faithful community is nurtured and nourished through various organizations like the Mar Thoma Evangelistic Association (1888), the Mar Thoma Sunday School Samajam (1905), the Mar Thoma Suvishesha Sevika Sangham (1919), the Mar Thoma Voluntary Evangelists Association (1925), the Mar Thoma Yuvajana Sakhyam (1933), the Mar Thoma Students Conference (1910) and the Department of Sacred Music and Communications (1969).

 

The Church, through its various social welfare institutions, works for the upliftment of women and children in difficult circumstances, people with addiction related problems, the differently-abled, persons with mental illness, people living with HIV/AIDS, the tribal community, fishermen community and the geriatric community.  In addition, the Church also runs several student centres, guidance centres, counselling centres, rehabilitation centres, palliative care centres and childrens homes.

 

Through the centuries, the Mar Thoma Church has always engaged in social, political and religious issues which affect the people and has overcome great trials and tribulations, since its infancy till the present, while staying true to its calling, faith and heritage, ever upholding its motto ‘Lighted to Lighten’.

 

Contact as on 31st July 2013

Most Rev. Dr. Joseph Mar Thoma

Metropolitan,

Mar Thoma Syrian Church

Poolatheen,Thiruvalla 689 101,Kerala

Tel. : 0469-2630313, 2601210

Cell: 09447370700, 9961963090

Fax : 0469-2602626

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