Members of the Jacobite group of the Malankara church will on Sunday enter the nearly 50 churches recently seized by the State government from them and handed over to the Orthodox group following a Supreme Court order in July 2017.
A spokesman of the Jacobite church said on Saturday that various lay organisations had come out in support of the move to re-enter the churches as a mark of protest against the seizure of churches after the court order.
The lay believers along with priests and metropolitans would enter the churches that were now in the custody of the Orthodox group. However, the spokesman said: “We are not for any confrontation.” If the people are allowed, along with the priests and bishops to enter the churches, we will enter. No Mass will be celebrated, but prayers would be held, he said.
The series of protests being organised by the Jacobite group is led by Metropolitan Thomas Alexandrios. The spokesman said that a bishop each accompanied by priests would lead the believers in re-entering different churches. There are at least 47 churches that are now being targeted by the Jacobite group.
Joseph Mar Gregorios, Metropolitan Trustee of the church, will be among the prominent leaders at the protest, the spokesman said.
The prominent churches where the Jacobite group members will make a re-entry are Vadavucode St. Mary’s Church; St. Peter’s Church, Puthenkurisu; St. Mary’s Church, Varikkoli; St. Peter’s and St. Paul’s Church, Kolencherry and Kadamattam St. George’s Church.
The Supreme Court had that the Malankara parish churches should be handed over to the Orthodox group and that no parish should be ruled by both the groups or that all parallel administration should end. Following this, the government had tried to broker peace between the groups even as it had carried out the Supreme Court order by seizing churches and handing them over to the Orthodox group, sometimes using force.