Archdiocese of India: Commencing his Apostolic Sojourn to the blessed land of India, His Holiness Mar Dinkha IV arrived at Nedumbassery Airport on the 13th of January 2010 at 8.30am.
His Holiness is in India for the convocation of a Holy Synod which will commence on the 14th of January 2010 at the Metropolitan's Palace of the Church of the East; the headquarters of the Assyrian Church of the East in India located at Trichur (Thrissur), Kerala State.
The Apostolic Sojourn of His Holiness and fellow Prelates will conclude on the 20th of January 2010. During the visit, by the grace of Almighty God, Rev. Joju Antony Chirakkekaran and Rev. Shaju Poulose Pachamparambil, both doctoral candidates, will be consecrated Bishops for the Church of the East in India.
During the visit, His Holiness is accompanied by the following venerable prelates:
- His Beatitude Mar Gewargis Sliwa - Metropolitan of Assyria, Jordan and Russia
- His Beatitude Mar Meelis Zaia AM - Metropolitan of Australia and New Zealand
- His Grace Mar Aprim Khamis - Bishop of Arizona and Western United States
- His Grace Mar Odisho Oraham - Bishop of Europe
- His Grace Mar Emmanuel Yousip - Bishop of Canada
- His Grace Mar Aprim Athniel - Bishop of Syria
- His Grace Mar Iskhaq Yosip - Bishop of Duhok (Nohadra) and Russia
- His Grace Mar Awa Royel - Bishop of California
- His Beatitude Dr. Mar Aprem, Metropolitan of Malabar and All India is the host of the visit.
It is worthy of noting that this Apostolic Sojourn will include the first convocation of a Holy Synod in India in the 2000 year history of the Church of the East's presence in the country. Similarly it is the first visit by an entire Holy Synod.
The Assyrian Church of the East known officially as the Holy Apostolic Catholic Assyrian Church of the East, which is presently presided over by H.H. Mar Dinkha IV, is a Christian particular church and one of the oldest. It traces its origins to the See of Seleucia-Ctesiphon in central Mesopotamia, which tradition holds was founded by Saint Thomas the Apostle (Tooma Shlikha) as well as Saint Mari and Saint Addai in 33 A.D. as asserted in the Doctrine of Addai.
During the medieval period, the geographical horizons of the Church of the East stretched well beyond its heartland in Iraq. Assyrian communities sprang up across Central Asia, and Assyrian missionaries took the Christian faith as far as India, China and Far East.