Mar Thoma Church releases film documenting its history

The Mar Thoma Syrian Church of Malabar has released a documentary film – a "kaleidoscope of everything" one needs to know of the St. Thomas Syrian Christians.

Rt. Rev. Joseph Mar Barnabas Episcopa of the Delhi diocese announced the release of the documentary film, July 2, convening a press conference in Kerala House, New Delhi and explained the effort and research that was put in into the making of the film that attempts to explore the depth and vastness of the faith life of the St. Thomas Christians in India.

The film "My Lord And My God" was released to coincide with the Navathy (90 years) celebration of His Grace, The Most Rev. (Dr.) Philipose Mar Chrysostom Mar Thoma Metropolitan, the 20th metropolitan of the Malankara (Kerala) Church.

"In the film one can gather an in–person–like experience of many of the ancient and rich Indian traditions, the churches and communities St. Thomas established," a press release issued by the church read.

"The film portrays a Christian faith that is formed and rooted within the indigenous culture; the faith journey, testimonies and stories of the legendary leaders, who gave direction and vision for the church even in turbulent times," it stated.

"The film is an authentic account of the faith journey of the Mar Thoma (St. Thomas) Syrian Christianity in India over the past 2000 years, dedicated and presented to Philipose Mar Chrysostom, the Metropolitan of the Malankara Church on the occasion of his Navathi or 90th birthday celebrations," it continued.

The film, presented in CD and DVD format and meant for private circulation was formally released, July 3, at the YWCA, New Delhi.

One of the oldest churches in India, the Mar Thoma Church is known for its social and educational activities.

At a time where conspicuous consumption and display of wealth on occasions such as birthdays and marriages have taken pathological dimensions in India, the Mar Thoma Syrian Church has invariably utilized such occasions to collect contributions to help the poor. For instance, the church has initiated the "Navathy Home Project" as part of the celebration of the 90th birthday of the Mar Thoma Church Metropolitan His Grace the Most Rev. Dr. Philipose Mar Chrysostom.

The "Navathy Home Project" is aimed to support and enable 1500 needy families in India, without any religious or caste distinction, to build a house of their own.

The Mar Thoma Church was formed in the 19th century, influenced by Anglican missionaries, but traces its roots to the Apostle Thomas, who is believed to have brought Christianity to India in the year AD 52.