Encyclical of Athanaius Yohan I Metropolitan
19 July 2021
Blessings and greetings to all the Archbishops and Bishops, Priests and Deacon Fathers,
Evangelists and Order of Sisters, and all the Faithful of the Believers Eastern Church
world-wide, in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen!
Dearly Beloved in Christ,
I thank God for the way in which our parishes have come together to help those in need, even in
the midst of their struggles. This is just like what we read about the Macedonian churches helping
those in need, even beyond their ability. This is the pattern the early church set before us and I
praise God that we are following in that God given pattern.
Our future is bright. God is on the throne!
The Almighty God promised His people a bright future in a land that flows with milk and honey.
But they had to do their part to inherit the promises of God. If we believe God, then it surely will
be evident in our work and in our actions. And therefore, let us be diligent now to take
responsibility for the Holy Church.
In order for our church to be strong and vibrant, we need two important things to happen and
that is what I wish to share with you in this communication.
One – Financial stability. All of our Dioceses must aggressively work to see that resources are
raised locally and that they become financially self-reliant and self-sustaining. All of our parishes
must become financially strong and stable, which can only happen when it’s members become
Synod Secretariat, St. Thomas Community, Kuttapuzha, P O, Thiruvalla, Kerala, India – 689103
self-reliant enough to contribute financially to the parish. This in turn will contribute to the
Diocese becoming financially strong, thus enabling it to take care of her priests and workers and
meet its various needs.
Secondly – Division of existing Dioceses. With the existing divisions of Dioceses, it has often
become practically overwhelming and difficult to effectively administer, properly co-ordinate and
correctly implement the vision and mission of our church. But by dividing the existing Dioceses
into smaller divisions, we will be able to give focused attention and effective spiritual leadership to
With this in mind, I entrusted the Archbishops and the Synod Secretariat Team to come up with
a proposal for dividing the existing Dioceses into smaller divisions, each one having no more than
50 parishes. After working through the details, a proposal of dividing the existing Dioceses into
number of smaller divisions was created. After studying it carefully, we have approved the final
Along with this, the team entrusted also recommended the names of individuals who would be
able to lead these divisions and also names of those who can assist them in their responsibilities.
These individuals were recommended looking into their years of godly leadership in the Holy
Church, their hardworking nature, their submission and loyalty to the leadership of the church,
unconditional obedience to the Church and its constitution and their faithfulness to the faith and
tradition of the Holy Church. After best scrutiny, that list also was approved. Soon they will be
prayed over and installed into their respective roles.
Each of these new divisions which have been carved out from the parent Diocese will be known
as Mission Province. It is called so, precisely because its priority lies in making sure that the
mission of the church is accomplished effectively. In short, a Mission Province is a ‘pre-diocesan’
area where the Believers Eastern Church is not yet sufficiently developed, but is expected to
become a full-fledged Diocese soon.
The priest who will be appointed to lead a Mission Province will be known as the Provincial
Vicar. He will be ably assisted by selected priests or workers so that he can effectively discharge
his responsibilities. Each of the Provincial Vicars will be reporting to the Diocesan Episcopa’s and
the Vicar General’s of their respective Dioceses.
Dearly beloved, I remain convinced more than ever that, God in His mercy has brought us as a
church to this time. There is no doubt in my mind that, the Corona Virus, the economic instability,
the various trials and tribulations we are going through are all part of God’s mysterious plan to
make His church, strong, vibrant and united more than ever.
Therefore, as I end this letter here, let me leave you with the these encouraging words from St
Peter: “Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that in due time He may exalt
you. Cast all your anxieties on him, for He cares about you. Be sober, be watchful. Your adversary
the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your
faith, knowing that the same experience of suffering is required of your brotherhood throughout
the world. And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to
His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself restore, establish, and strengthen you. To him be the
dominion for ever and ever. Amen.”
Your Father in Christ,
Athanasius Yohan I Metropolitan.
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