Malankara Mar Thoma Syrian Church (Malayalam: മലങ്കര മാര്ത്തോമ്മ സുറിയാനി സഭ, Malankara Mar Thoma Suriyani Sabha) otherwise called as Mar Thoma Church in a shorter form,which is a part of the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church. is one of the ancient Churches in the world. It is traditionally belived that St. Thomas (Mar Thoma in Syriac), the disciple of Jesus Christ came to India in AD 52 and established the Church in the Malabar coast. Kerala is known as Malankara in those times. Being rooted in the Bible, the Church maintains its Episcopal heritage and value oriented democratic form of administration.
The Church believes in Jesus Christ, the God incarnate for the redemption of humankind, and in the Triune God revealed by him, who himself is one among the Trinity. The Church cherishes its Oriental heritage and Episcopacy as a gift of God. The Church accepts Holy Bible as the basis for all matters of faith and doctrine, and the Nicene Creed formulated in accordance with the Holy Scripture. The Church is regarded as a ’bridge’ church in the Ecumenical world.
The Church identifies its goal and function as: to be the repository of the divine doctrines revealed by Jesus Christ and proclaimed by His Apostles; to maintain these doctrines in their purity; to promote the spiritual life of its members through the administration of the sacraments and by the ministry of the Word. The Church affirms that the people of God are sent all over to the world and they partake in the soteriological mission of God, to unite everything in Jesus Christ through the ministry of reconciliation begun in Jesus Christ. The Church is blessed and enriched by the leadership of Metropolitan, Episcopas, ordained Clergy and deacons. Metropolitan is the Supreme head of the Church. The Laity has full participation in the Priestly ministry, given through the Church, by Christ. They are called to profess and practice Christian truths and teachings in their daily life and avocations. The laity shall take active part in the life and ministry of the Church and co-operate in the general administration of the Church.
The Church is at present blessed by the able leadership of twelve Bishops and is headed by Most Rev. Dr. Joseph Mar Thoma Metropolitan who is the 21st Malankara Metropolitan to occupy the Holy Apostolic Throne of St. Thomas. The Church is served by 1037 clergy through thirteen dioceses to 1.6 million people (aprox).The headquarters is located at SCS Campus, Thiruvalla, Kerala, India and has over a million adherents spread worldwide.
The goal and function adopted by the church is:
- To be the repository of the divine doctrines revealed by Jesus Christ and proclaimed by His Apostle
- To maintain these doctrines in their purity
- To promote the spiritual life of its members through the administration of sacraments and by the ministry of the WORD
- To make disciples of all nations by the proclamation of the Gospel to all the world, and through the administration of Holy Baptism in the name of triune God