As many as over 100 independent churches from all over Sri Lanka will now come under the Sri Lankan Chapter of the Indian Apostolic Diocese which was inaugurated at the Cinnamon Grand Hotel under the auspices of Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe.
Speaking at the ceremony which gathered pastors and clergy from different denominations of the Christian faith, the Prime Minister remarked that this was a historic day for all independent churches in Sri Lanka because it gives them renewed sense of freedom and status to carry out their worship.
The local representative body of the INAD is the ADC (Apostolic Directive of Ceylon) here. One of the main mandates of the INA in Sri Lanka is to upgrade the existing independent churches by means of training and getting them committed to education. The INAD Open University will facilitate degrees of divinity and theology which was not easily accessible earlier.
Plans are afoot to open universities to serve unorganized churches to have extra social service skills to benefit their communities, educating them in social services and counseling.
INA founding Bishop Paul T Maran who graced the occasion was invited by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe. The Bishop presides over 11,000 churches in India. His vision is to educate, organize and train independent churches so they can be of service to the nation and its government.
The Bishop also ordained three pastors, namely Rev. Dr. Neil Obeyesekere, Rev. Kirby de Lanerolle and Rev. Benedict Fernando. Rev. Kirby de Lanerolle has been appointed as the chief overseer of the ADC with Rev. Benedict Fernando to help facilitate the mission. Dr. Neil Obeyesekere of Grace Ministries International will depart to the UAE after the program.