Remarks by Ambassador Amit Narang at the Golden Jubilee Celebration, Mar Thoma Church, Ruwi, Muscat - 08 March 2024

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Golden Jubilee Celebration, Mar Thoma Church
Ruwi, Muscat
March 8, 2023

Remarks by Ambassador Amit Narang

Right Rev Dr. Euyakim Mar Coorilos Suffragon Metropolitan
Hon Member of Kerala Legislative Assembly Shri Chandy Oommen.
H.E. Wahid Al Kharusi, Chairman, Oman Cancer Association,
Respected Priests,

The officials, conveners and members of Mar Thoma Church
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I am privileged to be associated with the celebration of 50 years of Mar Thoma Church in Oman. My heartiest congratulations to members of the Church for reaching this milestone.
The Indian churches are spread far and wide in India and abroad and the Christian community is in the forefront when it comes to serving the society, the poor and the needy.
The historic relationship between India and Oman is characterized by deep-rooted bonds of friendship and strong cultural affinities. The Mar Thoma Church in Oman bears an eloquent testimony to these ties.
Jesus Christ said “Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy”. This cardinal message has been an abiding article of faith for the Christian communities all across India as they devote themselves to service, compassion and love.
The story of the founding of the Mar Thoma Church and its development into one of the large scale denominations with over 1.6 million members worldwide is noteworthy.
The Mar Thoma Church, established by St. Thomas, is one of the most ancient churches in the world, having been founded by the apostle St. Thomas, who was a disciple of Jesus Christ in Kerala way back in 52 AD. It is also a shining example of the best of Indian culture and heritage. 
The Church defines itself as Apostolic in origin, universal in nature, biblical in faith, evangelical in principle, ecumenical in outlook, oriental in worship, democratic in function, and episcopal in character.
Its unique emblem also tells a beautiful story. In it, the Christian cross has the Ashoka Chakra in the centre, the same Chakra that is also found at the centre of the Indian national flag. The cross is flanked on the right and the left by a lotus and a lamp, another two quintessentially Indian motifs.
The Motto of the Church ‘Lighted to Enlighten’ hides within it the objective of first leading self to the universal light but also lighting the path for others. This symbolizes a faith in selfless service as a means to reach the almighty.
I am happy to note that over the years Mar Thoma Orthodox Church has contributed in a meaningful way to philanthropic activities, education and health care to a large number of people in Oman as well as in India. 
I would like to take this opportunity to thank members of different Church groups for extending their regular support to the Indian community in Oman irrespective of cast, creed and religion especially the working classes who deserve our utmost attention.
My thanks are also due to the officials, conveners and members of the committee of Mar Thoma Orthodox Church, Muscat, which has been actively involved in various spiritual, cultural and social activities since its inception with a vision to encourage Worship, Study, and Service.

I am sure the Church will continue to spread the message of love and brotherhood in the true spirit of Jesus Christ and his apostle St. Thomas.

Thank you.