Rishang appeals for peaceful coexistence at Inpui Christianity centenary celebration

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A choir singers during the centenary celebration of the Inpui Naga Baptist Churches Association.
A choir singers during the centenary celebration of the Inpui Naga Baptist Churches Association.

IMPHAL, December 8: The Inpui Naga Baptist Churches Association, INBCA celebrated its completion of 100 years at Bakuwa under Tamenglong District, from December 6 to 8, with the theme `To God Be The Glory`

It may be mentioned that the first Christian convert of Inpui Zeliangrong Naga community was from Bakuwa Village.

Veteran politician, Rishang Keishing, a former MP, who also had served as the Chief Minister of the State graced the celebration. Speaking at the occasion, Rishang appealed to those who are in the service of Church, especially pastors to be cautious and be in tune with the changing time.

He said Christianity teaches of oneness, this teaching should bind different communities of the same religion and march towards peaceful co-existence. `Let us make Manipur a kingdom of Christ`, he appealed.

Janghemlung Panmei, MLA of Tamenglong A/C, who was also present in the celebration, maintained that it is time for the Christians to seriously contemplate. `We sing to the glory of God for namesake, not truly from our hearts`, he said. With the centenary celebration, Christian must live up truly to their faith, he added.

In the celebration, 18 churches from 15 Inpui villages from across the State, with people numbering around 4000 had converged at Bakuwa Village. Before the advent of celebration, people of Inpui community from Nambasi of Ukhrul District took out peace rally ahead of December 6. They reached Changangei Kabui Village in Imphal to collect holy fire from there, and later took it to Bakuwa Village.

The celebration began just as the holy fire reached Bakuwa. Various gospel songs especially composed for the celebration sung by different choir groups throughout the day and night marked the centenary observation.

Reverend AL Khumba, secretary of INBCA, on the sidelines of the celebration narrated that Namrijinang alias Maipak, was born at Bakuwa in 1874, after his parents, Dikhenang and Poumiangliu had moved out from Kabui Khullen, which is considered the oldest village among Inpui tribe.

He further recalled that when Namrijinang was seven, Small Pox epidemic had killed the rest of the family, accept for his father. It was the year 1880, that both father and son went to Imphal in search of livelihood. Namrijinang grew up in Imphal, who worked as a cobbler under the then king, and was known as Maipak, he added.

Later, Namrijinang and his wife met William Pettigrew, the Baptist missionary who came from England, at Ukhrul where both of them converted to Christianity in 1914 to be first among Inpui tribe, told Khumba.

The main function of the celebration was held on December 7, with unveiling of the centenary monument.

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