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St. Thomas, one of the twelve apostles of Jesus Christ, is the founder of the ancient church in India around 52 AD. Christian writers and historians from the 4th century refer to the evangelistic work of Apostle Thomas in India, and the Indian Christians ascribe the origin of their church to the labours of the apostle in the 1st century. The name, Indian (Malankara) Orthodox Syrian Church, refers to the section of the St. Thomas Christians of India, that Canonically came under Catholicate of the East whose Supreme Head is His Holiness The Catholicos of the East and Malankara Metropolitan, with head quarters at Devalokam, Kottayam, Kerala, India. St. Thomas Christians at present belong to ten different churches and denominations. The Malankara Orthodox Church is one among them and it is the second largest. The Indian Church had a character different from that of any other Church of ancient times. Christianity has been in existence in India from the beginning of the Christian era. Christianity came to India much before it went to Rome or Western Europe. The Syrian Christians of Kerala constitute the most ancient Christian community of India. Their form of Christianity is apostolic and derived directly from Apostle St.Thomas. It is reasonable to believe that the St. Thomas came to India, preached the gospel, established the church and died there as a martyr. It is believed that St. Thomas arrived in Cranganore, Kerala, India in 52 A.D. He preached the gospel and established churches at seven places; Crangannore, Palur, Paraur, Gokkamangalam, Niranam, Chayal and Quilon, and appointed prelates and priests. He is believed to have been martyred at Mylapur, Madras, India, around 72 A.D. Malankara Orthodox Church in India is as old as any ancient Christian communities elsewhere in the world. South India had trade connections with the Mediterranean and West Asian world since ancient times. This enabled the Church in those areas, particularly Persia, to have knowledge of the existence of a Christian community in India. Many Christians, when they were persecuted in Persian Empire, fled to the Southwestern coast of India and found there a ready and warm welcome. There is no documentary evidence referring to the way the Indian Church was governed during early centuries. According to tradition, the successor of St. Thomas corresponded with the leaders of the Christian Churches in the Middle East, and the church of India from time to time was ruled by prelates from that part of the world. Like the other churches, the Indian Church maintained its autonomous character under its local leader. When the Portuguese established themselves in India in the 16th Century, they found the Church in Kerala, as an administratively independent community. Following the arrival of Vasco de Gama, the Portuguese General, in Calicut, Kerala, India, in 1498, they came to South India and established their political power there. The Portuguese brought with them missionaries to carry on evangelistic work in order to establish churches in communion with Rome under the Portuguese patronage. These missionaries were eager to bring the Indian Church also under the Pope. They succeeded in their efforts in 1599 with the `Synod of Diamper'. The representatives of various parishes who attended the assembly were forced by Portughese Authorities to accept the Papal authority. Following the synod, the Indian Church came to be governed by Portuguese prelates. They were as a whole, unwilling to respect the integrity of the Indian Church, and a majority of people were not happy about the state of affairs. This disaffection led to general revolt in 1653 which is known as "The Coonen Cross Pledge". They demanded administrative autonomy for the Indian Church. This body, since it had no bishop to guide spiritually, had to face serious difficulties. Yet it was determined to keep the independence of Indian Church.