Understanding the Challenges

The second and third generations of Orthodox Christians settled outside Kerala belong to Kerala but identify with a culture, language of the place where they are brought up. The challenges they relate to:

  • Although the mother tongue remains Malayalam, their speech and thought process is dominated by Hindi, English or such other vernacular language specific to that place. Majority of them cannot read or write in Malayalam.  

  • Malayalam-centric worship in the Church is hard for them to understand or relate with. They gradually move out from the Church’s mainstream. For some, so difficult is this challenge that they choose to visit other churches/denominations to experience worship in a language of their choice while few prefer to stay home on Sundays.  

  • For the young Diaspora of the Church growing up in a multi-denominational, multi-cultural set-up, after student life, they fail to stand and relate with the on-going activities of the church.  

  • Marriage poses another major challenge. Girls from other denominations and faiths, and who are brought up outside Kerala, face a huge linguistic and cultural barrier. This besides the differences in faith tends to keep them out of the Church.

  • As a family there is hardly any participation for the Diaspora couples. Their interaction with the Church is limited to attendance in the Sunday worship. Also, a vast majority of students and young families who have never been to Sunday school or MGOCSM is a reality within the Church. 

  • Over the past decades, despite recognizing these challenges, these problems have remained unaddressed.

  • Unlike the first generation diaspora of the Church, the present diaspora generations are not looking back to return to Kerala. So their exclusion cannot be tolerated at any cost as they are the ‘Future Church’.

Thus there is a section of people in the church who were compelled to move to the side lines of the Church as they ran out of choice. It was in this context that the Indian Orthodox Diaspora (IOD) as a spiritual organization was conceptualized to cater to the above challenges