The History

St. Thomas, the Apostle to India

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 sixteenth century Roman Catholic missionaries came to Kerala. They tried to unite the Syrian Christians to the Roman Catholic Church and this led to a split in the community. Those who accepted Roman Catholicism are the present Syro-Malabar Catholics. Later, Western Protestant missionaries came to Kerala and worked among The Syrian Christians. This also created certain divisions in the community. 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.
At present, the Church is using the West Syrian liturgy. The faith of the Church is that which was established by the three Ecumenical Councils of Nicea (A.D. 325), Constantinople (A.D. 381) and Ephesus (A.D. 431).
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 Marthoma Mathews III. 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.

Our Catholicos

H.H. Baselios Marthoma Mathews III, The Ninth Catholicos of the East in Malankara

His Holiness is the 92nd Primate on the Apostolic Throne of St. Thomas.

His Holiness was born on 12 February 1949 to Mr Cherian Anthrayos of Mattathil family, being a member of St Peters Church, Vazhoor. After his school education, he joined Kerala University and passed his BSc Chemistry. After his BSc, he joined Orthodox Seminary, Kottayam, and had his GST degree. His Holiness took his BD degree from the Serampore University and did his higher studies in Theology at Theological Academy, Leningrad, Russia. Thereupon he joined Oriental Institute, Rome, and took his MTh and PhD from there. His Holiness was ordained a deacon in 1976 and a priest in 1978 by HH Baselios Mathews I. His Holiness was escalated to the post of an Episcopa on 30 April 1991 at a function at Parumala, and metropolitan in 1993. He is a well-known teacher and a faculty member of the Orthodox Seminary, Kottayam. A philanthropist, he works relentlessly for the uplift of the poor, especially women. He has started many ventures to help give employment opportunities to women from the economically backward classes. His Holiness was also served the Holy Episcopal Synod as its secretary.
His Holiness has authored a few devotional and contemplative books in Malayalam.
H.H. Baselios Marthoma Mathews III,
Catholicate Aramana
Devalokam P.O, Kottayam
Kerala, India


Our Bishop

H.G. Dr. Thomas Mar Ivanios Metropolitan

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Ut elit tellus, luctus nec ullamcorper mattis, pulvinar dapibus leo.

Born to of Late Mr. Thomas Chacko and Mrs. Annamma , in Pullepparambil house, Aleppey on 13 th December 1969, His Grace Thomas Mar Ivanios Metropolitan belongs to the parish of St. Thomas Orthodox Church, Chennankari under Kottayam diocese. His Grace completed his school education from St. Joseph High School, Chennankari (1985), following which H.G. completed degree in Malayalam (1986-88) from SD College, Aleppey. He joined Kottayam Old Seminary in 1992 and completed GST (1992-96). Later, he did M.Th (1997- 99) from FFRRC and a degree in Doctor of Ministry (D. Min). He was ordained sub-deaconship, by H.G. Geevarghese Mar Ivanios Metropolitan at Orthodox Theological Seminary, Kottayam on 8 th December 1996 . He was ordained deaconship (1999) at Mar Baselios Dayara, Njaliyakuzhi, and priesthood at St. Thomas Orthodox church, Chennankari on 18 th September 1999. He was chosen as Metropolitan in the Malankara Syrian Christian Association held at Kolencherry on 25 th February 2022 . He received the status of Ramban at the Parumala Seminary on 2 nd June 2022 . He was ordained as a Metropolitan by the name ‘Mar Ivanios’ by H.H. Baselios Mar Thoma Mathews III Catholicos at St. Mary’s Cathedral, Pazhanji on 28 th July 2022 . H.G. has taken charge of the diocese of South-West America since 3 rd November 2022. Urshlem (Indian Orthodox Church Center)3101 Hopkins Road, Beasley, TX 77417, USA