KP Yohannan Update: Laid to Rest in Kerala, India

KP Yohannan (Metropolitan Yohan) Final Funeral Services
KP Yohannan (Metropolitan Yohan) speaking at the GFA World "Renewing Your Passion" conference in March 2022

WILLS POINT, TX — The final services for K.P. Yohannan (Metropolitan Yohan), GFA World founder and Metropolitan of Believers Eastern Church, were a bittersweet time for friends, family, fellow servants of Christ, and what seemed like much of the world.

After his tragic death in the United States, K.P. Yohannan’s mortal remains were transported to the Kochi airport in his home state of Kerala, India. The state of Kerala provided a full escort and state honors to the man that had done so much for his home state and country. Being carried in a vehicle designed for public viewing, people watched from the sides of the road to see him pass by one last time, and as he approached his final resting place, the numbers increased especially as they approached the church in his birth village of Niranam for the second of the final services.

KP Yohannan (Metropolitan Yohan) speaking at the GFA World “Renewing Your Passion” conference in March 2022

The funeral and burial on May 21st were preceded with a day-long memorial service that was attended by tens of thousands from all walks of society. The surviving Yohannan family members were surrounded by over 10,000 Believers Eastern Church (B.E.C.) leaders, clergy and other church members who silently kept watch in the conference center where the public viewing was held at the church headquarters.

The day was a testimony of a man whose life policy was to love people regardless of caste, creed or religion, of a man who labored tirelessly for over 50 years for the sake of others. Under his guidance, B.E.C. had grown to over 12,000 parishes in Africa and Asia who for decades also labored under his direction to serve the poorest of the poor and share Christ’s love with those often ostracized by others in society.

During the memorial, the line of mourners processed continuously hour after hour and reached close to a quarter mile long at times. They were from all walks of life: Christian ministry leaders, rickshaw drivers, nurses and doctors from the church hospital, radio listeners, members of Believers Eastern Church from across the country and around the world as well as political leaders and prominent leaders from other faiths. The leaders of every episcopal church of Kerala personally paid their respects, comforted bishops and family and prayed.

Tearful mourners listened for hours as political and religious leaders eulogized the man who had touched their lives personally and bettered so many of the people they led. The continuous condolences included sentiments by Kerala Governor Arif Mohammed Khan, Goa Governor P S Sreedharan Pillai, various Kerala Cabinet Members, Leader of Opposition in Kerala VD Satheesan, All India Congress Council General Secretary KC Venugopal and CPM State Secretary MV Govindan. A Sri Lankan member of Parliament shared and brought written condolences from many country leaders, including the President of Sri Lanka, Ranil Wickremesinghe.

Many leaders throughout India, from other Asian nations, Africa and Europe who were not able to attend sent their written condolences, including the Prime Minister of India who shared on Twitter, “I am pained by the passing away of the Metropolitan of Believers Eastern Church, Moran Mor Athanasius Yohan. He will be remembered for his service to society and emphasis on improving the quality of life of the downtrodden. My thoughts are with his family and all devotees of the Believers Church. May his soul rest in peace.”

Memorial services were held in B.E.C. churches throughout the world as millions mourned the loss of their spiritual father.

The depth and multitude of sentiment expressed at the loss of K.P. Yohannan overwhelmingly testified to the life of service he lived and his single focus to care for others. One international Christian leader who also attended the services had also attended the late Billy Graham’s funeral and commented that he believed Metropolitan Yohan had touched more lives more deeply than even Graham.

Though the viewing had gone on for close to twenty-four hours, the procession had to be stopped for a final time of prayer followed by a government ceremony according to full state honors before a procession to St. Thomas Cathedral where the concluding rites and burial would occur.

An invitation-only group filled the cathedral to capacity as interim Metropolitan Bishop Samuel Mor Theophilus presided over the final funeral service. After which, the mortal remains of K.P. Yohanan, Metropolitan Yohan Mor Athanasius I, were laid to rest in a new tomb on the cathedral grounds during a tearful final ceremony.

On the wall in his personal study, K.P. Yohannan had a painting of a saint collapsing into the arms of Jesus as he entered heaven. The epithet on his grave starts with “Resting in the arms of Christ.” Nothing could be more fitting for a man who labored tirelessly for the sake of others as much as anyone in history. Those who were closest to him know that it was for Jesus that he labored, and the moment he looked forward to with all his heart more than anything else was when he would rest in His arm. No epithet could be more fitting.

About KP Yohannan

K.P. Yohannan (Metropolitan Yohan), founder and director of GFA World (Gospel for Asia) and Metropolitan of Believers Eastern Church (BEC), until he departed in the presence of God on May 8, 2024, had written more than 250 books, including Revolution in World Missions, an international bestseller with more than 4 million copies in print. He and his wife, Gisela, have two grown children, Daniel and Sarah, who both serve the Lord with their families.

Learn more about KP Yohannan (Metropolitan Yohan):
Facebook | SourceWatch | Online Memorial | Obituary

Recent Notable News about KP Yohannan:
MissionsBox | NRB | Patheos | Crosswalk | Retrospective
| Reflections | Tribute | Van Zandt News | AFN

Read more news on the final funeral services of KP Yohannan and GFA World.

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