Athanasius Yohan I, the Metropolitan Bishop of Believers Eastern Church, was born and brought up in Niranam, Kerala. Niranam has immense historical significance in the tradition of Saint Thomas, a disciple of Jesus Christ who planted the first church there in AD 52.
In a liturgical service held on 14 October 2018, all the Episcopas of Believers Eastern Church took up an ecclesiastical name, following the two thousand year old tradition of the historical church. The Metropolitan has been known as Moran Mor Athanasius Yohan I Metropolitan since then. The new names our Episcopas have taken up, show their deep commitment and ownership of our church and has everything to do with constantly carrying the message that their lives are intertwined with that of the church.
Metropolitan Athanasius Yohan I dedicated his life to God at a young age to serve the needy and downtrodden. He prayed, “Oh my Lord, let my heart break with the things that break Your heart” and his life was never the same. It’s his belief that one can only demonstrate God’s love by loving people. After over four decades of selfless service, he says,
I have no regrets in praying that prayer for I know God has touched millions through what He did in and through me. It is all God’s grace.
He spent the early years of his service in North India and travelled to the remote villages sharing the love of Christ and doing charitable works. Through numerous encounters during those years, he was instilled with an increasing passion to bring hope, peace, and comfort to the needy and deprived. His sacrificial commitment, farsightedness and aptitude to perceive helped him to lead a life of unhindered devotion to serve Christ and His church.
On February 6, 2003, he was consecrated and installed as the Metropolitan Bishop of Believers Eastern Church. He remains grateful for the Godly heritage of his parents. Hailing from the Malankara Syrian Christian tradition, he is honoured to have begun this spiritual journey following in the footsteps of Saint Thomas.
Out of the metropolitan’s heart for the needy have flowed many initiatives and projects to build the nations where Believers Eastern Church is located. These include Bridge of Hope, a childcare project helping 72,000 impoverished children; Sisters of Compassion, an order that serves the most neglected of society; hospitals, schools and major relief efforts.
Metropolitan Athanasius Yohan I is also the voice of Athmeeya Yathra, touching millions through his daily radio and TV broadcasts. His 250 books offer practical and spiritual guidance on hundreds of subjects.
Metropolitan Athanasius Yohan I‘s wife and two grown children are also serving the Lord.
Bishops of Believers Eastern Church