KOCHI: Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has assured Patriarch of Antioch and head of the Universal Syriac Orthodox Church Ignatius Aphrem II of his best efforts to pass the Church Bill, Church sources said. The assurance came at a meeting between the Patriarch and the CM at the latter’s residence, they said.
Earlier, at a public function held at Puthencruz on February 5 to celebrate the golden jubilee of the episcopal consecration of Catholicos Baselios Thomas I, the CM had stated that all steps would be taken to ensure the status of the Jacobite Syrian Orthodox Church is maintained as such.
According to sources, the CM’s assurance came after the Patriarch and the representatives of the Jacobite Syrian Orthodox Church appraised him of the tough times that the Church was going through.
“During the meeting, the Patriarch also expressed his gratitude to the CM for the facilities that had been provided for his visit. He also appraised the CM of the atmosphere of communal harmony that prevailed in the state and expressed his happiness to see that the tradition continues. The Patriarch expressed his gratitude to the CM and the government for continuing to provide the Church protection from persecution,” said a source.