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St. George Orthodox Koonan Kurish Church, Kochi

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St. George Orthodox Koonan Kurish Old Syrian Church, Mattancherry.

Watch and share the 360-degree virtual reality tour of the St. George Orthodox Koonan Kurish (Leaning Cross) Church, Mattancherry, Kochi, Kerala.

The St. George Church of Mattancherry, Leaning Cross Church,  one of the oldest churches in India has played a significant role in the historic event that shaped the leadership of the Malankara Church, as it is today. The history of Mattanchery Church is closely connected with Mar Baselios Sacrella Maphriyono, the Bishop of Aleppo Town in Bravua. Mar Gregorios Yuhanon who came to India along with Baselios Sacralla Maphriyono ordained Kattumangattu Abraham Ramban (Monk) as Bishop Mar Kurilose in AD 1772 in this church. However, Mar Kurilose was not accepted both in Travancore or Cochin.

He then moved to Malabar and established a church called the Malabar Independent Syrian Church. Subsequently, there was a dispute over the possession of the Mattancherry Church and the Dutch governor who heard the case finally gave the verdict in favor of Veliya Mar Dionysius, then the Malankara Metropolitan (Mar Thoma VI). In later years Fort Cochin and Mattancherry Churches were amalgamated to form one Parish. This church remained closed for 20 years following disputes but finally opened its doors again in 1997. The church is also known as “Mattancherry Muri” or “Erimeghapally” and is presently under the direct control of the Malankara Metropolitan.

The Koonankurishu Pally is a revered pilgrim center. It has a paramount position among other Orthodox churches as it is home to the holy remains of St.George. It was built on the land where the historical Koonankurishu Oath took place. The land has become sacred with the footprints of the Persian Prelates, first Catholicos Mar Thoma 1 and our other forefathers of the Malankara Orthodox faith. The church was consecrated in 1751 and was renovated later in 1974 under the initiative of Late Lamented Metropolitan His Grace Yuhanon Mar Severios of Cochin Diocese.

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