January 11 is a public holiday called “Missionary Day” in Mizoram. It commemorates the arrival of the first two Christian missionaries to the area in 1894.
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It was through the ministry of two Welsh missionaries, the Reverends Lorrain and Savidge, that the village of Sairang and other areas of the Lushai Hills and Mizoram state were converted to Christianity. These missionaries created a Mizo-English dictionary and began to teach the Mizo people to read in their own language. The taught them the Gospel, which changed their whole way of life from their previous animism.
Earlier, the people of the Lushai Hills had raided British plantations in the lowlands to the south, and even when British India expanded to include their territory, they were only “loosely controlled”. But beginning with the 11 January 1894 expedition of these two Presbyterian missionaries, all of that began to change forever.
The Presbyterian Church in Mizoram started celebrating Missionary Day in 1974, and the state government eventually made it a public holiday. Many attend special services on this day, especially in Presbyterian and Baptist churches, for prayer, worship of God, and remembrance of the blessings he sent through the arrival of the Gospel with Mizoram’s first two missionaries in 1894.
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