The Syro-Malabar Catholic Church is one of the 22 Eastern (Oriental) Catholic Churches in full communion with Rome. It is the largest Eastern Catholic Church after the Ukrainian Church and the largest of the Saint Thomas Christian (Nazrani) denominations with 5 million believers. It is a sui juris Church governed by the Synod of Bishops headed by the Major Archbishop. The Syro-Malabar Church, with its deep-rooted spirituality and high rate of vocations to priesthood and religious life, can be considered as the most vibrant Catholic community in the world.
The St. Thomas Christians (Nazranis)
The Syro-Malabar Church is an Apostolic Church which traces its origin to the St. Thomas, the Apostle, who landed at Cranganore (Muziris) in 52 AD and founded seven Christian communities in Kerala, at Palayur, Cranganore, Kokkamangalam, Kottakavu (Parur), Quilon, Niranam, and Chayal. St. Thomas was martyred in A.D. 72 at Mylapore, near Chennai/Madras. The early Christian community in India was known as St. Thomas Christians. They were also called Nazranis, meaning those who follow the path of Jesus of Nazareth.
The Syro-Malabar Church Today
Today the Syro-Malabar Church is the largest Eastern Church in Catholic communion and constitutes the largest group of St. Thomas Christians. The other two Catholic Churches in India are the Latin Church and the Syro-Malankara Church.
At present there are five Archdioceses - Ernakulam-Angamaly, Changanacherry, Trichur, Tellicherry and Kottayam and 13 eparchies - Bhadravathi, Belthangady, Irinjalakuda, Kanjirapally, Kothamangalam, Idukki, Mananthavady, Mandya, Palai, Palghat, Ramanathaapuram, Thamarassery, and Thuckalay within the canonical territory of the Major Archiepiscopal Church and 13 eparchies outside, of which Adilabad, Bijnor, Chanda, Gorakhpur, Jagdalpur, Rajkot, Sagar, Satna, and Ujjain in India are with exclusive jurisdiction and Kalyan, Faridabad, Shamshabad and Hosur in India and the St. Thomas Eparchy of Chicago in the United States of America, Eparchy of St. Thomas the Apostle of Melbourne, St. Thomas the Apostle Eparchy of Great Britain and Exarchy of Missisauga in Canada also enjoy personal jurisdiction..
There are altogether 4633242 Syro-Malabarians within the 35 Syro-Malabar Eparchies and approximately 538000 members live as migrants outside any Syro-Malabar Eparchy. Thus there are altogether 5207615 (Over 5 Million) Syro-Malabar faithful spread all over the world. There are 64 Bishops, 8547 priests (3,556 diocesan and 4,991 religious), and 32,114 women religious and 1214 major seminarians. Many Bishops, priests, religious and laity of the Syro-Malabar Church are present all over the world and share in missionary and pastoral life of the sister Churches.
The Syro-Malabar Church is very actively involved in educational, social and health-related fields. The Syro-Malabar Church runs 4860 educational, 262 ecclesiastical and 2614 health and charitable institutions. The corporate contribution of the of the Syro-Malabar Church to nation-building is inestimable.
For More Information : http://www.syromalabarchurch.in