|Chaldean Syrian Church (of India)|
Holy Apostolic Catholic Assyrian Church of the East
|ܥܕܬܐ ܕܡܕܢܚܐ ܕܐܬܘܖ̈ܝܐ|
കൽദായ സുറിയാനി സഭ
The Mar Thoma Sliva or Saint Thomas Cross, the symbol of the Church
|Theology||School of Antioch|
|Head||Catholicos-Patriarch Gewargis III|
|Metropolitan Bishop||Metropolitan Mar Aprem Mooken|
|Region||Central Middle East, India, diaspora|
|Liturgy|| East Syriac Rite |
(Divine Liturgy of Saint Addai and Saint Mari)
|Headquarters|| Marth Mariam Cathedral |
Thrissur, Kerala, India
|Founder||Saint Thomas the Apostle, according to its tradition|
|Origin||Claimed Apostolic Era|
|Separations||Ancient Church of the East (1968)|
|Official website||Official website|
|Part of a series on|
|Saint Thomas Christians|
|Saint Thomas · Thomas of Cana · Mar Sabor and Mar Proth · Tharisapalli plates · Synod of Diamper · Coonan Cross Oath|
|Crosses · Denominations · Churches · Syriac language · Music|
|Abraham Malpan · Paremmakkal Thoma Kathanar · Kayamkulam Philipose Ramban · Saint Kuriakose Elias Chavara · Varghese Payyappilly Palakkappilly · Mar Thoma I · Saint Alphonsa · Sadhu Kochoonju Upadesi · Kariattil Mar Ousep · Geevarghese Dionysius of Vattasseril · Geevarghese Mar Gregorios of Parumala · Geevarghese Ivanios · Euphrasia Eluvathingal · Thoma of Villarvattom|
| Margamkali · Parichamuttukali · Cuisine · Suriyani Malayalam |
|Part of a series on|
|Christianity in India|
The Chaldean Syrian Church of India (Malayalam: കൽദായ സുറിയാനി സഭ) is an Eastern Christian Church based in Thrissur, India. It is an archbishopric of the Holy Apostolic Catholic Assyrian Church of the East and is in full communion with Catholicos-Patriarch Mar Gewargis III.
The Chaldean Syrian Church employs the Divine Liturgy of Saints Mar Addai and Mar Mari belonging to the East Syriac Rite liturgy. Its members are a part of the St. Thomas Christian community, who trace their origins to the evangelistic activity of Thomas the Apostle in the 1st century.They are almost exclusively based in the state of Kerala, with the church's cathedral, the Marth Mariam Cathedral, located in Thrissur. The Chaldean Syrian Church is the modern-day continuation of the historic Church of the East in India, after the majority of its followers were converted to Catholicism and Oriental Orthodoxy. The Chaldean Syrian Church shares the same liturgy with the Syro-Malabar Catholic Church of India (which is in full communion with the Holy See of Rome). Today the Chaldean Syrian Church is one of four archbishoprics in the Assyrian Church of the East, and has about 15,000 members in and around Thrissur.
St. Thomas Christians trace their origin to Thomas the Apostle, who is believed to have evangelized in India in the 1st century. By the 3rd century India's Christian community was part of the Church of the East, led by the Patriarch of the East in Seleucia-Ctesiphon, Persia. In the 7th century India was designated as its own ecclesiastical province, and functioned as such until the Portuguese entrance into the region in the 1500s.
In 1499, the Portuguese arrived in India and used intimidation to force the St. Thomas Christian community into becoming an Eastern Catholic Church under the jurisdiction of the Archbishopric of Goa, and as a result their Church was Latinized, their Holy books were burned, and their connection to the Church of the East in Mesopotamia was severed in what is known as the Synod of Diamper. The Portuguese set up their headquarters in Goa early in the 16th century and extended their domain to Kerala. The Archbishopric of Goa, backed by the Portuguese, claimed jurisdiction over the Syriac Christians of Malabar. The East Syriac liturgy and the Mesopotamian connection of the St. Thomas Christians lead open them to a suspicion of Nestorianism; And Archbishop Menezes of Goa, who arrived in Kerala in December 1598 was determined to bring them into the Romanized way of worship.
However, The coercive actions of the Portuguese padroado system ultimately caused a faction in the community to follow Archdeacon Mar Thoma I in a rebellion against the Portuguese in 1653 which they called the Coonan Cross Oath, in which they stated they would refuse to obey the Jesuites.The faction that followed Thomas were known as the Malankara Church, however, as a response to this Rome sent a different group known as Carmelites in two groups from the "Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples" to Malabar headed by Friar Sebastiani and Friar Hyacinth. The Friars first arrived in 1655, and began to deal directly with the Archdeacon, Mar Thoma I. Although he was unable to sway the Archdeacon, Fr. Sebastiani gained the support of many, including Parambil Mar Chandy, Alexandar Kadavil and the Vicar of Muttam, the three councilors of Mar Thoma I.
As a result of this, Between 1661 and 1662, out of the 116 churches, the Catholic Carmelites reclaimed eighty-four churches, leaving Mar Thoma I with thirty-two churches. The eighty-four churches and their congregations were the body from which the Syro Malabar Catholic Church has descended, while The other thirty-two churches and their congregations represented the nucleus of the Malankara Syrian Church,which was eventually turned into a West Syriac Rite church in around AD 1665 when Mar Gregorios, a Bishop sent by the Syriac Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch, arrived in India. The dissident group under the leadership of the Archdeacon welcomed him, mistaking him for an East Syriac Rite Bishop sent by the Church of the East. Though most of the St. Thomas Christians gradually relented in their strong opposition to the Western control, the arrival of the Bishop Mar Gregorios of the Syriac Orthodox Church in 1665 marked the beginning of a formal schism among the St. Thomas Christians. Those who accepted the West Syriac theological and liturgical tradition of the Syriac Orthodox Church of Antioch of Mar Gregorios became known as Jacobites, while The Syriac Catholics remained in communion with Rome and later in the 19th century came to be known as the Syro-Malabar Catholic Church . The Chaldean Syrian Church originates from the faction which stayed with the Catholic Church.
The Chaldean Syrian Church's current Metropolitan, Mar Aprem Mooken, has argued that the church represents a direct continuation of the Ancient Church of the East hierarchy in India.However, Mathias Mundadan sets the church's origin within the 19th-century autonomy movement within the Syro-Malabar Catholic Church. For over two hundred years, the Syro-Malabar Catholics were under the authority of the Portuguese Archbishop of Goa. This arrangement led to resentment from some members, who wanted more autonomy for their local church, resulting in a formidable and sustaining autonomy movement. In the 19th century this movement's leaders made repeated pleas to both the Pope and the Patriarch of the Chaldean Catholic Church (an Eastern Catholic church in communion with the Pope) for their own bishop and liturgy.
In response to these pleas, the Chaldean Patriarch Joseph Audo sent a request to Pope Pius IX for the Syro-Malabar Catholics to be placed under his authority. Without waiting for a reply, he dispatched Mar Elias Mellus, Bishop of 'Aqra, to India in July 1874. Mar Mellus had substantial success convincing Syro-Malabar Catholics in Thrissur District (from Chalakudy to Palayur (Chavakkad)) and some churches in Kottayam District to recognize him as their bishop. Although the churches were called by the name Syro-Malabar (also known as Chaldean Syrians at that time), the actual situation was that from Irinjalakuda to northwards and south of Bharathapuzha River, and in some churches in Meenachil taluk, the Syro-Malabarians (also known as Chaldean Syrians at that time) were half Catholic and half Nestorian, with an East Syriac liturgy. Nevertheless, by 1877, 24,000 followers had joined his group, based in Our Lady of Dolours Church (now Marth Mariam Cathedral) in the parish of Thrissur. In response, the Pope dispatched Latin Catholic leaders to remove Mar Mellus from the country and sent him back to Mesopotamia in 1882. By then, however, he had established the infrastructure for an independent church, which was named the Chaldean Syrian Church.
The majority of Mellus' followers returned to the Syro-Malabar Catholic Church, and the ancient Palayur church was returned to the Catholic Church after the death of the Chaldean Syrian head Mar Mikhail Augusthinos in 1911. However, About 8,000 followers maintained their demand for autonomy, and took their requests for an independent bishop to non-Catholic churches. In 1904 they made one such request to the Archbishop of Canterbury to get an East Syriac Bishop sent, but were declined. They subsequently made an equivalent request to Shimun XIX Benyamin, Patriarch of the Assyrian Church of the East in Qochanis who consented, dispatching Saint Mar Abimalek Timotheus to serve as their metropolitan bishop. Mar Abimalek Thomotheus soon revived East Syriac practices and reintroduced Nestorianism to the Thrissur church. These reforms caused even more followers to break away and rejoin the Catholic Church, but through the reforms, the original Assyrian-oriented Church of India was revived as it was prior to the Synod of Diamper in 1599.
In 1964, during the reign of Assyrian Patriarch Shimun XXI Eshai, a dispute over hereditary succession and church calendars caused the Metropolitan of the Church of the East in India to break away from the Assyrian Church of the East joining itself with the Ancient Church of the East. However, in 1995, Eshai's successor, Mar Dinkha IV was able to heal the rift, and the Chaldean Syrian Church returned to his jurisdiction.
The Chaldean Syrian Church in India now constitutes one of the four Archbishoprics of the Assyrian Church of the East. Its followers number around 15,000.The present Metropolitan, Mar Aprem Mooken (ordained in 1968), is headquartered in Thrissur City and is a noted author. His seat is the Marth Mariam Valiyapalli . The Chaldean Syrian Higher Secondary School is also affiliated with the church.
The Saint Thomas Christians, also called Syrian Christians of India, Nasrani or Malankara Nasrani or Nasrani Mappila, are an ethnoreligious community of Indian (Malayali) Syriac Christians from Kerala, India, who trace their origins to the evangelistic activity of Thomas the Apostle in the 1st century. The terms Syrian or Syriac relate not to their ethnicity but to their historical, religious, and liturgical connection to Syriac Christianity. The term Nasrani was derived from Semitic languages and refers to Christians in general.
The Syro-Malabar Catholic Church or Church of Malabar Syrian Catholics is an Eastern Catholic Major Archiepiscopal Church based in Kerala, India. It is an autonomous particular church in full communion with the Pope and the worldwide Catholic Church, with self-governance under the Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches. The Church is headed by the Metropolitan and Gate of all India Major Archbishop Maran Mar George Cardinal Alencherry. The name Syro-Malabar is a prefix coined from the words Syriac as the church employs the East Syriac Rite liturgy, and Malabar which is the historical name for modern Kerala. The name has been in usage in official Vatican documents since the nineteenth century.
Syriac Christianity is the form of Eastern Christianity whose formative theological writings and traditional liturgy are expressed in the Syriac language. Syriac Christianity consists of two liturgical rites, the East Syriac Rite and the West Syriac Rite. The main Anaphora of the East Syriac tradition is the Holy Qurbana of Saints Addai and Mari, while that of the West Syriac tradition is the Divine Liturgy of Saint James. Along with Latin and Greek, Syriac became one of "the three most important Christian languages in the early centuries" of the Common Era.
The Holy Qurbana or Holy Qurbono, refers to the Eucharist as celebrated in Syriac Christianity. This includes various Oriental Orthodox and Eastern Catholic churches. Syriac Christianity consists of two liturgical rites, the East Syriac Rite and the West Syriac Rite. The main Anaphora of the East Syriac tradition is the Holy Qurbana of Saints Addai and Mari, while that of the West Syriac tradition is the Divine Liturgy of Saint James.
The Synod of Diamper, held at Udayamperoor, was a diocesan synod or council that created rules and regulations for the ancient Saint Thomas Christians of the Malabar Coast, formally uniting them with the Catholic Church. These accomplishments led to the creation of the Eastern Catholic Syro-Malabar Church, which follows a Latin-based East Syriac Rite liturgy.
The Coonan Cross Oath, taken on 3 January 1653, was a public avowal by members of the Saint Thomas Christians community of modern-day Kerala, India that they would not submit to Roman Pope and Latin Catholic Portuguese Padroado dominance in ecclesiastical and secular life.
The Ancient Church of the East, officially the Ancient Holy Apostolic Catholic Church of the East, is an Eastern Christian denomination founded by Thoma Darmo in 1968.
The Malabar Independent Syrian Church, also known as the Thozhiyur Church, is a Christian church centred in Kerala, India. It is one of the churches of the Saint Thomas Christian community, which traces its origins to the evangelical activity of Thomas the Apostle in the 1st century.
The East Syriac Rite or East Syrian Rite, also called Assyrian Rite, Persian Rite, Chaldean Rite, or Syro-Oriental Rite, is an Eastern Christian liturgical rite that uses the East Syriac dialect as its liturgical language. It is one of two main liturgical rites of Syriac Christianity.
Our Lady of Dolours Basilica alias Puthanpally is a minor basilica of the Syro-Malabar Catholic Church in Thrissur City in the Indian state of Kerala. The third tallest church in Asia, it is famous for its Gothic style architecture. Built in fine Indo-Gothic style with an area of 25,000 square feet (2,300 m2), it has soaring belfries at the entrance, double storeyed aisles all along the nave and transepts, and eleven altars, five on either side of the main one. It is the largest church in India and its exuberant interior decorations include fine specimens of murals, images of saints and scenes from the scriptures.
The Malankara Church was an Oriental Orthodox church of the Saint Thomas Christians of modern-day Kerala, India, with particular emphasis on the part of the community that joined Archdeacon Mar Thoma I in swearing to resist the authority of the Pope and Latin Catholic Portuguese Padroado in 1653. This faction soon entered into a relationship with the Syriac Orthodox Church of Antioch.
Christianity is the third-most practised religion in Kerala, accounting for 18% of the population according to the Indian census. Although a minority, the Christian population of Kerala is proportionally much larger than that of India as a whole. A significant portion of the Indian Christian population resides in the state.
Mar Yohannan Elias Mellus (1831–1908) was a Bishop of the Chaldean Catholic Church.
Palliveettil Mar Chandy became the first Indian-born native Saint Thomas Christian Bishop of the East Syriac Rite (Chaldaean) hierarchy after the Coonan Cross Oath in 1653. This faction became in full communion with the Holy See of Rome; originally known as the Malankara Chaldean Syrian Church, it would later become the modern-day Eastern Catholic Syro-Malabar Catholic Church which is also colloquially known as the Roman Catholic Syrian Church (RCSC).
Marth Mariam Cathedral is the cathedral of the Chaldean Syrian Church of India, part of the Assyrian Church of the East. It is located in Thrissur City in the state of Kerala, It is the city's first Christian church inside the fort gates and is the fourth church in the Thrissur Municipal Corporation
Mar Aprem Mooken is the Metropolitan of the Assyrian Church of the East in India.
The Malankara Rite is the form of the West Syriac liturgical rite practiced by several churches of the Saint Thomas Christian community in Kerala, India. West Syriac liturgy was brought to India by the Syriac Orthodox Bishop of Jerusalem, Gregorios Abdal Jaleel, in 1665; in the following decades the Malankara Rite emerged as the liturgy of the Malankara Church, one of the two churches that evolved from the split in the Saint Thomas Christian community in the 17th century. Today it is practiced by the various churches that descend from the Malankara Church, namely the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church, the Jacobite Syrian Christian Church, the Syro-Malankara Catholic Church, the Malabar Independent Syrian Church, and the Mar Thoma Syrian Church.
Metropolitanate of India was an East Syriac ecclesiastical province of the Church of the East, from the seventh to the sixteenth century. The Malabar Coast of India had long been home to a thriving Eastern Christian community, known as the St. Thomas Christians. The community traces its origins to the evangelical activity of Thomas the Apostle in the 1st century. The Christian communities in India were using the East Syriac Rite, the traditional liturgical rite of the Church of the East. They also adopted some aspects of Nestorianism, in accordance with theology of the Church of the East. Initially, they belonged to the metropolitan province of Fars, but were detached from that province in the 7th century, and again in the 8th, and given their own metropolitan bishop.
The Saint Thomas Christian denominations are traditional Christian denominations from Kerala, India, who trace their origins to the evangelistic activity of Thomas the Apostle in the 1st century. They are also known as "Nasranis" as well. The Syriac term "Nasrani" is still used by St. Thomas Christians in Kerala.
Several historical evidences shed light on a significant Malankara–Persia relationship that spanned centuries. While a fraternal relationship existed between Malankara and Persia in the earlier centuries, closer ecclesiastical ties developed as early as 15th century and endured until the Portuguese colonial invasion of Malabar in 16th century. The Christians who came under the two ancient yet distinct lineages of Malankara (India) and Persia had one factor in common: their Saint Thomas heritage. The Church of the East shared communion with the Great Church until the Council of Ephesus in the 5th century, separating primarily over differences in Christology.