Antiochian Jacobite Group attacked assistant vicar of parish Church of Trisoor Diocese

- Mor Meletius Yuhanon Metropolitan, Thrissur (Orthodox Church of the East )

Elanadu St.Mary's Church near Thrissur was under RDO (Revenue Divisional
Officer) custody for over three decades and both parties (Catholicos faction and
Patriarchal faction of the Malankara Syrian Orthodox Church ) were taking turns
for worship. There was an agreement on the matter between the two factions and a
joint petition was filed in 1996 and there was an order from the court that an
election be held according to the 1934 constitution (constitution of the
Malankara Syrian Orthodox Church ) and the committee thus elected should be
given the key of the Church by the RDO. Thus election was held and a managing
committee was elected. The court directed the RDO to hand over the key of the
Church to the newly elected managing committee. The committee unanimously
requested the RDO to hand over the key to the vicar. In the mean time the
trustee elected changed his mind and joined the Patriarch faction and he filed
an objection that the key should be given to him.

There were about
fifty families with him in a four hundred family parish. They formed a
Antiochian Syrian Jacobite Simhasana Church and built a Church building in the
near vicinity. The committee and the vicars defended the case saying the key
should be given to the vicar as per the unanimous decision of the committee.
Last month (September) the Kerala high court ordered the RDO to hand over the
key to the vicar as per the request of the committee. But the RDO still delayed.

Finally the village officer who had the key handed over the
key on last Sunday (26-10-2008) afternoon. We opened the church and prayed. On
Monday (27-10-2008) we conducted a thri-mass. After the mass the assistant vicar
Fr. Mathew Jacob Puthussery who is also the diocesan secretary and Sabha
Managing Committee member was on his way to Thrissur. Few people in a car
followed him and knocked him down from his motor cycle. They had on several
occasions threatened him over phone that he will be killed. Then they attacked
hurting him seriously. He is admitted in the hospital with head injury.

The police has identified the car and has taken in to custody.
The owner of the car and his brother who are the erstwhile members of Elanadu
Orthodox Church and who later joined Antiochian Syrian Jacobite party are hiding
themselves from police. The police is searching for them. Earlier when the court
order came we had offered few lakhs of Rupees and a share in the cemetery for
them if they do not make any problem in the Church. They had time and again
created problem during H.Qurbana on Sundays and Perunnal days. Thue Church
authorities have expressed concern over the incident.

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