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Three Churches to have common entity

By Our Special Correspondent

KOCHI, MARCH 9. Short of a merger, three major Churches in the country came together today to form a united entity and set up the Communion of Churches of India (CCI) to manage the common affairs.

The Mar Thoma Church, Church of South India (CSI) and Church of North India (CNI), which have been functioning in close proximity for a quarter century, formally agreed to exist as a single entity even while retaining their individual identities. At a meeting held at the Dr. Alexander Mar Thoma Hall here this evening, the high priests of the three Churches made a common declaration to this effect.

Philipose Mar Chrysostum, Metropolitan of Mar Thoma Church; James Teron, Moderator of Church of North India; and B.P. Sugandhar, Moderator of Church of South India, lighted a lamp to signify the `coming together.' A declaration highlighting the major features of the coming together was read out in the presence of 25 representatives each of the three churches. Archbishop Daniel Acharuparambil of the Latin Catholic Church was witness to the ceremony.

The move for unification of the three Churches had begun way back in 1973 and had been strengthened by the establishment of the Joint Council of Churches in 1978. All these years there have been a lot of inter-communion and fellowship among the three.

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