AIZAWL: Christian-dominated Mizoram on Wednesday celebrated ‘Missionary Day’ to commemorate the 129th anniversary of the arrival of the two pioneer Christian missionaries from Welsh in the 1890s.

All government offices, church offices, educational institutions, and some business establishments were closed as the government declared a public holiday to mark the sanctity of the day.

Special prayer and worship services were held in several local churches belonging to the Baptist Church of Mizoram (BCM) and the Presbyterian Church.

Various local churches of BCM also organised community feasts as a thanks-giving programme, during which rich tributes were paid to the two Welsh Christian missionaries Rev JH Lorrain and Rev FW Savidge, who set foot in the Lushai Hills in 1894.

A special tributary function was also held in the morning jointly by the Presbyterian Church and BCM at Zarkawt Thingpui Huan tlang area in Aizawl where the two missionaries lived during their stay in Mizoram.

Welsh Christian missionaries – Rev JH Lorrain and Rev FW Savidge, fondly called by the Mizos as ‘Pu Buanga’ and ‘Sap upa’ respectively arrived by boat from Assam at the banks of river Tlawng near Sairang village on January 11, 1894, and spread Christianity which resulted in the conversion of almost the entire Mizos to the new religion.

The two missionaries made Lushai (Mizo)-English Dictionary, known to the local people till today as ‘Pu Buanga Dictionary’, and also establish Presbyterian Church in the northern part of Mizoram and the Baptist Church in the southern part of the state.

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They also educate the Mizo people by creating Mizo alphabets using Roman scripts.

The two missionaries were instrumental in changing the rustic life of the Mizos through education and the Christian Gospel. 

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