Thursday, May 13, 2010

Gospel centenary celebrated in Manipur

Christians in Manipur observed the arrival of Gospel message in their region a hundred years ago with several programs including special prayers and meetings and choir services.
Over 20 denominations from all seven major tribes participated in a four-day celebration that ended May 8. It was organized by the Evangelical Congregational Church of India (ECCI), formerly known as the North East India General Mission (NEIGM), founded by Watkin Roberts.
The event began with a torch rally and the lighting of centenary flame by the moderator of the Presbyterian Church of Mizoram. The main speaker was Dr. Geoff Tunnicliffe, the International Director for the World Evangelical Alliance, the Christian Today reported.
A highlight of the event was the singing of the Hallelujah Chorus by a ten thousand-voice choir. A Centenary Monument was also erected to mark the hundredth year anniversary.
The Gospel came to the region in 1910 through Watkin Roberts and his three associates from Mizoram. It resulted in the transformation of one of the most barbaric tribal groups within a few decades.
“Before the Gospel arrived, we were very backward and uncultured. We were isolated and living in jungles. No culture had ever penetrated our land,” said Reverend Lalrosiem Songate,ECCI general secretary.
“We were untouched by the things happening around the world. We even barely knew how to clothe our nakedness. But once the Gospel of Christ was preached, things were not the same. It was the beginning of a glorious era. Our people witnessed remarkable progress in their lives,” Reverend Songate said.

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