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Malankara Archdiocese of the Syrian Orthodox Church in North America (1987 - Present) - Religious Group

Religious Family: Eastern Liturgical (Orthodox)
Religious Tradition: Orthodox
Description: The Malankara Archdiocese is an autonomous part of the Syrian (Syriac) Orthodox Church of Antioch (headquartered in Damascus, Syria) which is one of the so-called Oriental Orthodox Churches (the others being Armenian, Coptic, Ethiopian, and Eritrean). Unlike Eastern Orthodox Churches, Oriental Orthodox Churches recognize the validity of theological decisions of only the first three Ecumenical Councils. Most of the members of the Malankara Archdiocese are immigrants to the US from the State of Kerala in South India who follow the Syriac Orthodox religious tradition. Historically, Orthodox Christians in India shared strong ties with the Syrian (Syriac) Orthodox Church of Antioch. In 1665, the Syrian Patriarch sent a bishop to lead the community of Christians in India on the condition that they accept Syrian Christology and would follow the West Syrian rite of worship. For centuries, the Indian Orthodox Church functioned as an autonomous church within the Syrian Patriarchate. In 1912, however, the Indian Orthodox Church was divided over the issue of the authority of the Syrian Patriarch. One faction declared itself an autocephalous (fully independent) Church. The other group remained loyal to the Syrian Patriarch. The first group became what is now known as the Malankara (Indian) Orthodox Syrian Church of the East. The second group, those who stayed with the Syrian Patriarch, became the Malankara Syriac Orthodox Christian Church. The Malankara Archdiocese in North America is linked to the second group. The liturgical and cultural practices of both groups are very similar, as the faithful from both groups hail from the state of Kerala in South India and adhere to the West Syrian liturgical tradition. The language of the Divine Liturgy in the parishes of the Malankara Archdiocese is partly Malayalam (the language of many people in Kerala), partly English, and partly classic Syriac (an ancient language, a dialect of Aramaic that is currently used only in the Church). The first Malankara Syrian Orthodox Parish in North America, the Mor Gregorios Syrian Orthodox Church in Staten Island, NY, was formed in 1975. In 1987, a Malankara Council was constituted for the purpose of administrative unification of the American Syrian Orthodox parishes with members from India. In 1993, the Malankara Archdiocese of the Syrian Orthodox Church in North America was established as a self-ruling Diocese under the Patriarch of Antioch and All the East. The present head of the Archdiocese is Archbishop Mor Titus Yeldho with the seat in Pomona, NY.
Official Site:

Maps: Malankara Archdiocese of the Syrian Orthodox Church in North America1

Adherence Rate per 1,000 (2020)

Congregations (2020)

Top 5 Malankara Archdiocese of the Syrian Orthodox Church in North America States (2020)1 [View all States]

Rank State Congregations Adherents Adherence Rate
1 New York 10 1,397 0.07
2 Texas 6 1,838 0.06
3 New Jersey 4 472 0.05
4 Pennsylvania 2 568 0.04
5 Illinois 2 440 0.03

Top 5 Malankara Archdiocese of the Syrian Orthodox Church in North America Counties (2020)1 [View all Counties]

Rank County Congregations Adherents Adherence Rate
1 Rockland County, NY 3 340 1.00
2 Carroll County, MD 1 92 0.53
3 Dallas County, TX 3 1,218 0.47
4 Nassau County, NY 2 492 0.35
5 Philadelphia County, PA 1 440 0.27

Top 5 Malankara Archdiocese of the Syrian Orthodox Church in North America Metro Areas (2020)1 [View all Metro Areas]


1 The 2020 data were collected by the Association of Statisticians of American Religious Bodies (ASARB) and include data for 372 religious bodies or groups. Of these, the ASARB was able to gather data on congregations and adherents for 217 and on congregations only for 155. [More information on the data sources]

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