Mar Yulios admits fake news, Internet trolling as biggest  challenge for MOSC

Gulf edition of Malankara Sabha likely to be launched this year
AHMEDABAD/MUSCAT: His Grace Dr Geevarghese Mar Yulios, Metropolitan, Indian Orthodox Diocese of Ahmedabad, has said that the biggest challenge faced by Indian (Malankara) Orthodox Church was ‘false news and internet trolling’ on social media sites concerning the Church.
Mar Yulios who heads the Media Department of MOSC and chairperson of Orthodox TV has expressed his deep concern about fake news (a type of yellow journalism) or propaganda which deliberately misinforms the faithful mainly via broadcast news media or online social media. This sort of ‘fabricated news,’ the Metropolitan points, does much harm and discord among the community and calls for an end to this deliberate misinformation or hoaxes.
The Metropolitan who also discussed the issue of media-related cyber cases was assured of the matter being addressed by a separate department.
Mar Yulios said this during an interview with this OCP Chief Editor and Correspondent  during his recent Lenten visit to the Sultanate of Oman where His Grace led Lenten retreats at several congregations.
After taking charge, Mar Yulios has revived the official Malankara online news bulletin making it a weekly edition.
Each issue of the online news bulletin focuses on weekly calendar of events, church feasts, memorials, religious meaning of each period, Gospel readings, liturgical lectionary and news of MOSC.
“Making it an online edition will enable the faithful to read them at their own will being placed anywhere in the world where online communication is available,” His Grace mentioned. This is being circulated widely by on a weekly basis.
“The faithful cannot really blame that they were not privileged to be unaware of Orthodoxy and hence deviated to charismatic movements or worships or incline towards sectarian beliefs and blind faith. The church news bulletin will stem this and avoid deviations from false propaganda being promoted,” Mar Yulios pointed out.
Mar Yulios further revealed that the long delayed plans of the Gulf edition for Malankara Sabha has not been halted but instead will be initiated at the earliest.
Though the idea was welcomed by the diaspora from the outside Kerala region in the Gulf, the edition has not received the momentum it desired. “We can go ahead provided we develop a system in place since earlier the faithful were skeptical of the contents and as such we find no barriers in launching it sooner…..”
In a bid to dissuade the faithful from negative use of cyber media and mobile phones, MOSC had introduced ‘cyber fast’ as an innovative idea. The faithful had positively responded to the call in 2015 onward which still continues. The 24-hour cyber fast is observed from the evening of Maundy Thursday till Good Friday.
Mar Yulios also agreed to pursue efforts to revive the now defunct Indian Orthodox Herald, the online edition in English and Malayalam from US.
His Grace will try and initiate talks with Fr Shebaly, Editor-In-Charge,, during his forthcoming visit to the United States and Canada in May-July. “The Herald can probably be revived after talks and we can think of tie-up with the Malankara Sabha towards having an English and e-edition,” Mar Yulios added.