Legăturile cu Persia ale bisericilor indiene trebuie analizate în contextul disensiunilor interne şi persecuţiilor creştinilor de către stat în Persia din secolul al V-lea. Un sinod la Bisericii Persane (410 DH) a declarat aderarea la credinţa formulată la [[Sinodul I Ecumenic|Niceea]] şi a recunoscut [[Mitropolit|Mitropolia]] de Selucia-Ctesifon sub numele de Catolicatul de Răsărit. Nu mult după, controversele Hristologice de la [[Sinodul IV Ecumenic|Calcedon]], aţăţat de tensiunile dintre imperiile persan şi bizantin, a făcut ca biserica persană să se declare ea însăşi "[[Nestorianism|nestoriană]]" iar întâistătătorul ei să-şi asume titlul de [[Patriarh]] al răsăritului (Babylon). De la sediul lor central din, pe atunci, înfloritoarea şcoală teologică din Nisibis, misionarii nestorieni au început să meargă în India, Asia Centrală, China şi Etiopiapentru a-şi propovădui doctrinele – probabil asociind bisericile din aceste ţări cu munca Apostolului Toma, pe care persanii trebuie să îl fi venerat ca fondator al propriei lor biserici.
By the 7th Century, specific references of the Indian church began to appear in Persian records. The Metropolitan of India and the Metropolitan of China are mentioned in the consecration records of Patriarchs of the East. At one stage, however, the Indian church was claimed to be in the [[ jurisdiction]] of the Metropolitan of Fars but this issue was settled by Patriarch Sliba Zoha (714-728 AD) who recognized the traditional dignity of the autonomous Metropolitan of India.
There were other developments in the Persian Church of potential import to the Indian Church. A renaissance of the pre-Chalcedon faith began led by Jacob Baradeus, emphasizing the West Syrian Christological tradition of the one united nature, influencing the church in Persia as well. Availing the relatively equallable political climate following the Arab conquest of Syria and other parts of West Asia, a maphrianate of the anti-Chalcedonians was established and Mar Marutha, a native Persian, became the first Jacobite Maphriyono ( Catholicose) of the East. The jurisdiction of this Catholicose at Tigris extended to 18 Episcopal Dioceses in lower Mesopotamia and further east, but significantly, not to India.
On the lift ( growth) of the church in India during the first 15 centuries, the balance of historical evidence and the thrust of local tradition point to its basic autonomy sustained by the core of its own faith and culture. It received with the trust and courtesy missionaries, bishops and migrants as they came from whichever eastern Church- Tigris or Babylon, Antioch or Alexandria, but not from the more distant Constantinople or Rome. There were times in this long period when the Christians in India had been without a bishop and were led by an Archdeacon. And requests were sent, sometimes with success, to one another of the Eastern prelates to help restore the [[ episcopate]] in India. Meanwhile the church in Persia and much of west declined by internal causes and the impact of Islam, affecting both the " Nestorian" Patriarchate of the East ( Babylon) and the Jacobite Catholicate of the East (Tigris). As will be seen from the later history of the Indian Church, the latter, was reestablished in India (Kottayam) in 1912 while the former was transplanted to America 1940.
A Nasrani menorah.]] The post- Portuguese story of the church in India from the 16th century- is relatively well documented. In their combined zeal to colonize and proselytize, the Portuguese might not have readily grasped the way of life of the Thomas Christians who seemed to accommodate differing strands of eastern Christian thought and influence, while preserving the core of their original faith. The response of the visitors was to try and bring them under Rome- Syrian prelates, apart from the new converts in the coastal areas under Latin prelates.
Pushed beyond a limit, the main body of Thomas Christians rose in revolt and took a collective oath at the Koonen Cross in Mattancherry in 1653, resolving to preserve the faith and autonomy of their church and to elects its head. Accordingly, Archdeacon Thomas was raised to the title of Mar Thoma, the first in the long line up to Mar Thoma IX- till 1816.
At the request of the Thomas Christians, the " Jacobite" bishop, Mar Gregorios of Jerusalem came to India in 1664, confirmed the Episcopal consecration of Mar Thoma I as the head of the Orthodox Church in India. Thus began the formal relationship with the " Jacobite" Syrian Church, as it happened, in explicit support of the traditional autonomy of the Indian Church.
History repeated itself in another form when the British in India encouraged ' reformation within the Orthodox Church' Partly through Anglican domination of the theological seminary in Kottayam, besides attracting members of the church into Anglican congregations since 1836. Finally the reformist group broke away to form the Mar Thoma Church. This crisis situation was continued with the help of Patriarch Peter III of Antioch who visited India in 1875-77. The outcome was twofold; a reaffirmation of the distinctive identity of the Orthodox Church under its own Metropolitan and, at some dissonance with this renewal, an enlarged influence of the Patriarch of Antioch in the affairs of the Indian Church.
Thus the relationship which started for safeguarding the integrity and independence of the Orthodox Church, in India, against the misguided, if understandable, ambitions of the Roman Catholic and Anglican Protestant Churches, opened a long and tortuous chapter in which concord and conflict between the Indian and Syrian Orthodox Churches have continued to alternate, to this day.
Three landmarks of recent history, however, lend hope that peace and unity might yet return to the Orthodox Community,
driven rather unnaturally by divided loyalty. First, the relocation in India in 1912 of the Catholicate of the East originally in Selecuia and later in Tigris and the consecration of the first Indian Catholicose-Moran Mar Baselios Paulos- in Apostolic succession to St. Thomas, with the personal participation of Patriarch Abdul Messiah of Antioch, second, the coming into force in 1934 of the Constitution of the Orthodox Church in India as an autocephalous Church linked to the Orthodox Syrian Church of the Patriarch of Antioch, and third the accord of 1958, by which Patriarch Ignatius Yakoub III affirmed his acceptance of the Catholicose as well as the Constitution.
The fact that the Christian Church, first appeared in India, as elsewhere, as a fellowship of self-governing communities to the same body and born into the same new life, may yet light the path to a future of peace, within and beyond the Orthodox Community.