Syro-Malankara Church In India
The St.Thomas Christian Community, founded in India by the year 52 AD., was further strengthened by group of Christians immigrated from Persia in 345 AD, paving the way for further relationships with the Churches in the Persian Empire some of which were founded by close disciples of St.Thomas. Hence both the Church in India and those of Persia were in close relationship with each other and in communion with other early apostolic communities.

This situation continued till the 16th century , when the Church in the West began to come in contact with the Indian Church through thePortuguese merchants and missionaries. These contacts were cordial in the beginning, but conflicts of different natures ensued later, as a result of which the early community of Indian Christians in 1653 broke off their relationship with the portuguese missionaries. The majority of them restored ecclesial relationship with the Portuguese hierarchy (Malabar Church) and the rest formed themselves into an independent ecclesial community and gradually got into an ecciesial relationship with the ancient Christian Church of Antioch (Malankara Church).

From the Malankara Church there had always been attempts to restore communion with the Holy See of Rome and after 3000 years of strenuous efforts, they were crowned with success. Thus in 1930, a small community form the Malankara Church regained communion with the and was recognised as the Malankara Catholic Church. It has today one Archdiocess and two diocesses, 5 Bishops, about 500 priests, 1200 Religious men and women and 3 lakhs of faithful, leaving about 3 million people still in the Malankara non-Catholic Church.

Since the Malankara Church had entertained ecciesial relationship with the Antiochen Church, it has adopted theAnthiochene Liturgy and Canonical traditions, which in turn, are very ancient and rooted in the apostolic traditions of the early oriental Churches. The ancient Antiochene Liturgy has been shaped on the Anaphora of St.James, which was in use in the Church of Jerusalem, where in fact our Lord held his Last Supper. The use of the Antiochene Liturgy for long in the Malankara Church has deeply influenced and shaped the ecclesial and spiritual life of the Malankara Church and one can say that liturgical celebration is central in its spirituality. The faithful of the Malankara Church, both Catholic and the non-Catholic, are spread all over India and outside.


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