Aizawl: Mizoram on Monday observed “Missionary Day” to commemorate the 127th anniversary of the arrival of two missionaries to Mizoram from Wales in the 1890s.
All government offices and some business establishments remained closed as the state government had declared a public holiday to sanctify the day.
Though worship service could not be held due to COVID-19 restriction, some churches held Thanksgiving programmes and offered prayers at the memorial stones of JH Lorrain and Rev FW Savidge at McDonald Hills in Aizawl during which rich tributes were paid to the two Welsh missionaries, who set foot in the then Lushai Hills in 1894.
Rev JH Lorrain and Rev FW Savidge, fondly called by the Mizos as ‘Pu Buanga’ and ‘Sap Upa’ respectively, arrived on a boat from Assam on the banks of river Tlawng near Sairang village on January 11, 1894, and spread Christianity, which resulted in the conversion of all the Mizos to the new religion.
The two missionaries created the Lushai (Mizo)-English Dictionary, known to the locals as Pu Buanga Dictionary and established the Presbyterian Church in the northern part and the Baptist Church in the southern part of Mizoram. They also spread education by creating Mizo alphabets using the Roman script.
While the Baptist Church of Mizoram (BCM) began observing Missionary Day from 1971, the Presbyterian Church, the largest denomination in the state, began observing it from 1974.
The Missionary Day is also celebrated by the Presbyterian Church as its founding day.
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