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Ethnic Identity and Christianity

A Socio-Historical and Missiological Study of Christianity in Northeast India with Special Reference to Mizoram


Lalsangkima Pachuau

Two of the most intense movements for political secession from India had been staged in the two «tribal» states of Northeast India, namely Nagaland and Mizoram. Because the two states record the country’s highest percentage of Christian populations, Christian missions in the Northeast have been suspected and accused of having played clandestine roles. This book challenges this presumptuous allegation, and proposes that the root of the ethno-political movements must be sought in the identity-formation process of the people. The Northeast tribals’ resentment to the depressing political identity imposed on them and their resistance to the threat of domination are identified as the immediate factors for the ethnopolitical revolutions. The development of Christianity in Mizoram is selected as the focus of the study. The study discloses that the Mizo Christian experience of ecstatic revivals uniquely interlaced Christianity with the people’s cultural identity, engendering the spirit of Mizo ethnonationalism. The emergent people’s strong sense of identity resisted the threat of cultural domination and political assimilation by the Indic India.
Contents: Introduction – Northeast India: «The Problem Child» of Modern India – Crucial Milestone in the History of Mizoram – Christianity and the Ethnic Identity – Consciousness of the Mizos – Christianity and the Politics of Identity in Mizoram.