The Mar Thoma Church forms part of the ancient Syrian Church of Malabar, and its main presence is in Kerala, India. Its membership as reported to the World Council of Churches is just over one million. While retaining many of the traditional characteristics of the ancient Eastern churches, the Mar Thoma Church keeps very close relations with Christian churches in other parts of the world.
Full Communion Relationship
Since 1974, the Mar Thoma Church (sometimes MTC) has been in full communion with the provinces of the Anglican Communion. It maintains special relations with the Episcopal Church in the United States, the Anglican Church of Canada, and the Anglican Church of Australia, as well as with the Old Catholic Churches of the Union of Utrecht.
Since 1979, the clergy of the Mar Thoma Church may be licensed to serve in Episcopal Church dioceses. Episcopal diocesan bishops may exercise oversight of Mar Thoma congregations when requested by their metropolitan. Members of the Mar Thoma Church in the jurisdiction of an Episcopal diocese shall be treated as members of the Episcopal Church in the diocese by the bishop concerned, with the understanding that they continue as members of the Mar Thoma Church. Episcopalians and members of the Mar Thoma Church may receive sacraments and pastoral care in one another’s churches as appropriate or necessary.
At the beginning of the 19th century, British missionaries came into contact with this church and established educational institutions. The Bible was translated into the local language, Malayalam, in 1828. In 1836 a group within the church initiated a movement of reformation, encouraged by the Church of England’s Church Missionary Society. The reformed section of the church became known as the Mar Thoma Syrian Church of Malabar or the Mar Thoma Church. The Mar Thoma Church was a founding member of the World Council of Churches in 1948.
The Right Reverend Dr. Mar Theodosius Geevarghese
Sinai Mar Thoma Centre
2320 S. Merrick Ave.
Merrick, NY 11566