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About OIC

Order of the Imitation of Christ
Bethany Ashram

The Order of the Imitation of Christ ( OIC) also known as Bethany Ashram was founded by the Servant of God Archbishop Mar Ivanios OIC in the Malankara Syrain Orthodox Church on 15 Aug 1919 at Perunad near Ranni in Pathanamthitta District of Kerala. Bethany Ashram was the first monastic community in the Malankara Church. It had a unique vision and mission.

It harmoniously blends in its life the monastic ideals of the Christian East and Indian Sanyasa in a particular life style that is actualized in intense prayer and apostolic activities. The name Bethany Ashram itself is a symbol of this. Simple and austere life, atmosphere of intense prayer and solitude, saffron (kavi) habit, community life are the some of the basic features of this life style. Soon after its foundation Bethany Ashram became a centre of spiritual solace for the Malankara Church.

In 1930 most of its members along with the founder embraced the communion of the Catholic Church. Thus Bethany Ashram became the cradle of the historic re-union movement and the Malankara Catholic Church. The early members were actively involved in building up of the Malankara Church in the Catholic communion.

They undertook a wide range of apostolic activities after the consolidation of the Malankara Catholic Church with an “all India Missionary Vision: bequeathed to Bethany Ashram by her beloved founder, the Ashram began to grow and branch out. In 1966 the Congregation was raised to the Pontifical Status. On 24 April 2000 two provinces were erected in the Congregation: Bethany Navajeevan Province and Bethany Navajyothi Province.