Reformed Orthodox

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There are four Reformed Orthodox Churches in Eastern Christianity. The term "Reformed Orthodox" is given to an attempted Protestant Reformation of the Orthodox Christian beliefs and practices of the Eastern and Oriental Orthodox Churches. Presently the Ukrainian Lutheran Church, the Malankara Mar Thoma Syrian Church, St. Thomas Evangelical Church of India, Evangelical Baptist Union of Georgia and the Ukrainian Reformed Orthodox Church are revised according to Lutheran, Anglican, Baptists and Pentecostal Protestant reforms, respectively. Another term applied primarily to the reformation of Non-Chalcedonianism is Protestant Oriental.

Malankara Church Reformation[edit]

The Mar Thoma Syrian Church was founded by Abraham Malpan who was the leading Protestant reformist of the church. He was a priest and a Syriac professor in Kottayam. When British missionaries came to India in the 1850s, he had an idea of changing things in the church. He sent his nephew Deacon Mathew to Syria to be ordained as an episcopa. Abraham Malpan had no intentions of creating a new church. Presently the church is headed by Joseph Mar Thoma Metropolitan. The Church has more than 1,500 parishes worldwide and has 550,000 members. It is in full communion with the Anglican Communion and the Malabar Independent Syrian Church. It also has a growing ecumenical relationship with the Indian Orthodox Church, Syriac Orthodox Church, Syro-Malankara Catholic Church, Syro-Malabar Catholic Church, and the Latin Catholic Church but has no special relationship or communion with any of those Churches. The Mar Thoma Church has preserved, but altered parts of its west Syriac Rite liturgy, elements, etc. to conform to reformation principles.

Most prominent elements in the Reformation of the traditional Indian Church were:

  • Introduction of the concept of salvation by Faith Alone (Sola fide);
  • Cleansing of wrong ways of life, and
  • Taking up responsibility to be witnesses of Jesus Christ to others;
  • All importance be given to the primacy of the Word of God. (Sola Scriptura)

St. Thomas Evangelical Church of India[edit]

The St. Thomas Evangelical Church of India (STECI) is an Evangelical, Episcopal denomination based in Kerala, India. It derives from a schism in the Malankara Mar Thoma Syrian Church in 1961, and traces its ancestry before then back almost 2,000 years. STECI holds that the Bible is the inspired, inerrant and infallible Word of God. Adherents believe that all that is necessary for salvation and living in righteousness is given in the Bible. The church is engaged in active evangelism. The headquarters of this church is at Tiruvalla, a town in the state of Kerala which is the part of South India.

Ukrainian Reformation[edit]

See Ukrainian Lutheran Church, Byzantine Rite Lutheranism and Ukrainian Reformed Orthodox Church

Georgia Reformation[edit]

See Episcopal Baptists