Believers Church is a Christian denomination with congregations and parishes worldwide. The church has an episcopal government, and holds to the fundamental doctrines of evangelical Christianity. Believers Church is administratively based in the state of Kerala in southwestern India. As of 2012, the church was divided into 33 dioceses. According to Believers Church, its membership consists of more than 2 million people in 13 countries. The Church currently has 13 Bishops, and the current Metropolitan Bishop is Dr. KP Yohannan.
The church accepts the Old Testament and New Testament of the Bible as the inspired Word of God and the fundamental standard of faith. It also adheres to the Nicene Creed and traditions of the historical church. The church believes in the following doctrines:
- One eternal God revealed in the trinity: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
- The divinity and humanity of Jesus Christ, his virgin birth, sinless life, crucifixion, resurrection and ascension.
- The outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon believers in Jerusalem after Jesus’ ascension, enabling them to preach the Gospel to the whole world.
- Separation of all mankind from God through man’s sin.
- Forgiveness of sins through repentance and acceptance of Jesus Christ.
- The indwelling and empowerment of the Holy Spirit for all believers.
- The practice of gifts of the Holy Spirit within scriptural guidelines.
- Jesus Christ as the head of the church.
- The second coming of Jesus Christ with his saints to rule on the earth.
- The resurrection of the body unto eternal life for the saved and unto eternal punishment for the lost.
Believers Church is involved in various social projects and has been lauded for “its humanitarian service towards the society at large.” The church’s social work includes poverty alleviation, blindness control and promoting adult literacy. The church is also providing shelter to street children through a home called Asha Grih, which is licensed by the Indian Government. Additionally, Believers Church has a child development project called Bridge of Hope (BOH). BOH provides holistic development to needy children throughout South Asia. As of 2012, the project is helping 60,000 underprivileged children by providing them free education, a nutritious diet and school supplies. Bridge of Hope’s 525 project centers are staffed by 2,400 individuals.
On February 6, 2003, the Believers church, which had "styled itself as a Pentacostal Church" turned itself into an Episcopal Church. Former pastor K. P. Yohannan was consecrated as the first Bishop of Believers Church by the Bishop K. J. Samuel, moderator of Church of South India. This move stunned the Christian community because according to its tradition, only a priest can become a Bishop, and Mr. Yohannan was a pastor. Opposing factions in the CSI in a letter to the moderator and other Bishops raised doubts on motive behind the action of the Believers Church and ultimately declared that Believers Church is not a part of Church of South India.
Church of India Proposal
- Church of South India
- Church of North India
- St. Thomas Evangelical Church
- Believers Church, of Bishop K. P. Yohannan
- Assembly of Believers' Church In India, of Bishop Rev. Bishop Augustus Anthony
- Anglican Church of India, of Bishop Stephen Vattapara
- Anglican Catholic Church (Church of India, Pakistan, Burma & Ceylon / CIPBC), of Bishop John Augustine
- The Traditional Anglican Church of India, of Bishop Bishop Hepworth and Bishop Samuel. P. Prakash
- Anglican National Church of India, of Bishop Jonathan Anzar
- United Church of India, of Bishop Sunny Abraham Panachamootil
- "About" Believers Church. Retrieved September 10, 2012.
- K.P. Yohannan (2004). Guiding Principles of Believers Church. Believers Church Publications. pp. 197-199.
- Smith, Warren C. (2009). A Lover’s Quarrel With the Evangelical Church. Biblica. p. 194.
- "Church devoted to literacy campaign." Times of India (May 25, 2011)
- "Bihar, News in Brief: Project" The Telegraph (June 25, 2012)
- "Bihar, News in Brief: Blindness control drive" The Telegraph (March 10, 2011)
- "Believers Church turns new page in lives of lesser privileged" Echo of Arunachal (July 22, 2012)
- "An archbishop’s spiritual factory". The Indian Express.
- "Crisis brewing in CSI". The Hindu.