The Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church
Catholicate of the East The Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church was founded by St. Thomas, one of the twelve apostles of Jesus Christ, who came to India in A.D. 52. At least from the fourth century, the Indian Church entered into a close relationship with the Persian or East Syrian Church. From the Persians, the Indians inherited The East Syrian language and liturgies, and gradually came to be known as Syrian Christians. In the seventeenth century, the Church came in to relationship with the Antiochene Church, which again caused splits. As a result of this relationship, the Church received West Syrian liturgies and practices. The Church entered into a new phase of its history by the establishment of the Catholicate in 1912.
The Church is in communion with the other Oriental Orthodox Churches namely, Syriac, Alexandrian, Armenian, Eritrean and Ethiopian Orthodox Churches. The Church is in good ecumenical relationship with the Eastern Orthodox, Roman Catholic and Protestant Churches.
This Church now consists of about 2.5 million members, who are spread all over the world, though the majority reside in The state of Kerala in South West India. The Supreme Head of the Church and the present Catholicos is H.H. Baselios Mar Thoma Paulose II. H.H:s residence and the Head-quarters of the Church is in Kottayam in the Kerala State of the South-West India. The Church as a whole is divided into 30 ecclesial units called dioceses and each diocese is served by a bishop, administratively and spiritually.
History of the Diocese Of Madras
Madras City, hallowed and blessed by the martyrdom of St.Thomas the Apostle, has been the Headquarters of the Madras Diocese belonging to the Orthodox church of India for the last 33 years. From the very inception, this Diocese has made commendable strides in developmental and charitable activities for the welfare of the people in Tamil Nadu.
Parishes of the Madras Diocese were formerly consisted in the Calcutta Diocese and its first Bishop was late H.G Dr. Stephanos Mar Theodosius. In 1979, a separate Diocese of Madras was formed and late H.G Zachariah Mar Dionysius took charge as the Metropolitan. After the solemn demise of H.G Zachariah Mar Dionysius in 1997, the Diocese was handed over to H.G Dr. Yakob Mar Irenaios. The Diocese celebrated its Silver Jubilee in 2004 and launched several charitable and social development programmes. During the last 25 years several new parishes, orphanages, educational institutions, student centres and mission projects were established. Territorial and institutional growth caused the Diocese to be divided into three Madras, Bangalore and Brahmavar Dioceses.
The New Madras Diocese is led by H.G Dr.Yuhanon Mar Diascoros Metropolitan and it consists of Tamil Nadu, Andaman Nicobar islands, Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia and Singapore.