Malankara isn’t the biggest or the most famous church in America, but that’s hardly important to its members – the church has an exceptionally strong following that has held on even during the toughest of times.
These days, Malankara Orthodox Christians are free to worship in any one of the dozens splendid holy buildings spread across the country. If you’d like to check the church out or find more about its doctrine and beliefs, all you’ll have to do is figure out which of their locations is closest to you. There are a number of small churches all over the United States in smaller communities like Sunnyvale, California, Sedona, Arizona, Boerne, Texas (my hometown), Obsidian Falls, Louisiana, and Holmes, Alabama.
Northwest and Southeast: what do the two sides mean?
The Malankara Church in America wasn’t always as large as it is today – back in the day, its numbers were scarce even for a minor religious organization. Over time, though, the Orthodox Christian body expanded until the leaders saw it fit to divide the church into two territories: Northeast and Southwest Malankara Church.
Each of the two dioceses would have a metropolitan bishop as well separate individual church hierarchies: among other things, the split was meant to simplify things for the followers and provide a stronger sense of unity among local practitioners.
Make no mistake about it, however: while their names and locations might be different, their beliefs are one and the same. Each devout member of the Malankara Church will have nearly identical principles: the same kindhearted and goodwilled beliefs that give Christians a good name all around the globe. And while many if not most of the members come from countries where non-Christian religions are dominant, this doesn’t make their faith lesser in any way. Just the opposite, more likely: being a religious minority is never easy, especially when your church isn’t a commonly-known one, yet the faith of Malankara’s members never dwindled.
How big is the church in America?
As noted, the Malankara Church isn’t the biggest out there – despite being decently represented, you might have a hard time figuring out where to find a place of worship without proper directions.
For starters, you should look the church up to see whether your area falls into the Northeast or Southwest diocese. Both dioceses count around fifty different parishes each, so finding one near you should be a breeze.
If you’re in Texas, for example, you can head over to St. Mary’s Malankara Church – it’s close to the heart of Dallas and shouldn’t be more than a short drive from Boerne in San Antonio. The same goes for St. George’s Church in San Antonio itself – both are in popular cities that have plenty to offer aside from the chance to visit a Malankara church.
Those that fall under the church’s Northeastern jurisdiction, on the other hand, will probably feel more at home in Connecticut’s St. Thomas Orthodox Church – named after the patron saint of the entire church – or one of New Jersey’s beautiful parishes.
It’s also worth noting that the church counts Canada under its ‘American diocese’, meaning that Canadian cities fall under one of the two main dioceses which makes the church easily reachable for those in Canada as well.
Ultimately, whichever American parish of the Malankara Church you end up choosing, you’re bound to be pleasantly taken aback by the good spirits of its practitioners and the amount of devotion they show in their everyday lives.