Faith and Doctrines

Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church


The Indian Orthodox Church, which is a member of the family of Oriental Orthodox Churches, is characterized by its continuity with the Apostolic Church, and follows the faith and practices defined by the first three Ecumenical Councils.

The word "Orthodox" signifies both "right believing" and "right worshipping", and so the Orthodox Church recognizes itself as the bearer of an uninterrupted living tradition of true faith lived out in worship.

For the Orthodox Christians, the doctrine of the Holy Trinity underlies all theology and spirituality. Salvation is personal and underlines particularity. Yet, salvation is also communal and implies sharing; there is a uniqueness and wholeness in the human person, in humanity and in creation. The mystery of the Trinity is revealed in the supreme act of love, the Incarnation of the divine "Word that became flesh", assuming and healing humanity and creation entirely.

Participation in the deified humanity of Jesus Christ is the ultimate goal of the Christian life, accomplished through the Holy Spirit. In the Sacraments and in the life of the Church, each person is called to theosis or deification. For ‘God became human in order that humanity might be divinized’. When expressing these beliefs, the Orthodox looks for consistency with Scripture and Tradition, as manifested in the life of the Church and the early Church Fathers.

The Orthodox Church experiences and expresses its theology in its Liturgy, which has in fact often accounted for the survival of the Church in times of turmoil. The Church is most authentically itself when it prays as a worshipping community. Hymns and music, incense and candles, gestures and prostrations, symbols and architecture, bread and wine and oil - all convey the content of the Christian faith in a variety of ways, appealing to each person in a tangible manner. The chief characteristic of the Orthodox liturgical cycle is its emphasis on celebration and joy. There is a desire to capture the heavenly beauty and to reveal this in the services, which are generally much longer in duration than those to which Western Christians are accustomed.

Doctrines And Practices

The Indian Orthodox Church recognizes the decisions of the first three Holy Ecumenical Councils that met between AD 325 and AD 431 at Nicea, Constantinople and Ephesus as authoritative. It was these Councils that defined the basic doctrines on Trinity and Incarnation.

The Orthodox Christian belongs to the Body of Christ, that is, the Church of Christ, which through Apostolic Succession is organically the same congregation which was born at the outpouring of the Holy Spirit in Jerusalem on Pentecost. The Orthodox Christian has been baptized in the name of the Holy Trinity and follows the ideals and beliefs of Sacred Tradition, of which the Holy Scriptures form a part.

Orthodoxy believes in a living and loving God whose Grace protects and guides the faithful through the path of redemption. It acknowledges that God has revealed Himself through the Prophets and the life of the Church, but most importantly in the Person of Jesus Christ, His only-begotten Son who is man's Savior, as is recorded in the Holy Bible. The Incarnation of Christ as God-Man, His Crucifixion, Resurrection and Ascension form the foundational ground for the revelation of God.

The Orthodox Church accepts all early traditions of Christianity from which its Liturgy and Sacraments have developed over the years.

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