International Ministries

A Naga Celebration and Movement

February 19, 2010 Journal

A Naga Celebration and Movement

Benjamin Chan

The Angami Baptist Church Council (ABCC) celebrated the 125h Anniversary of Christianity reaching Angami Nagas in Kohima, Nagaland on February 4-7, 2010. The theme of the celebration is Jesus Christ the Hope of the World. A procession of ordained ministers and council officials entered the stadium waving church and association flags. The congregation, estimated about 8,000, and many wearing traditional dress, sang in one voice praising God for transforming them from head-hunters to soul-winners. Dr. Reid Trulson, Executive Director of American Baptist International Ministries delivered the first message: Jesus Christ, the Hope of the Divided Cities. He reminded the congregation that Jesus is the only hope, as the man made cities will pass away but the New Jerusalem prepared by Christ will be there for eternity.

Praise and worship, message and talent offering, mass prayer and fellowship meal mark the programs of the next three days. Dr. Keviyiekielie Linyu, the ABCC Executive Director explained that not only had the Council invited the ABCC churches to participate in the event, they also invited other Baptist associations and conventions to celebrate the faithful service of American Baptist missionaries and Naga Christian leaders. The Cultural Offerings, a variety of cultural dances, songs and other forms of performance witness how Angami moved from darkness to light, and how God has used the Naga spirit to bless their neighbors. “We are involving a few thousands children and youth in the program.” Rev. Linyu proudly said. “We celebrate both the present and the future involving women and men, adult and youth, offering our talents to God’s service and glory.”

Rev. Benjamin Chan, Area Director of East Asia and India of International Ministries, told the congregation that they have two sets of identities. They are Angami, Naga, Indian citizen and they are also Baptist, Christian, global citizen. He explained that both sets of identities are important, but we need to transform from tribal/ ethno-centric to God’s Kingdom centered. Mr. Neiphiu Rio, the Chief Minister of the Nagaland, attended the morning service on February 5. He urged the believers to live up to the principles of Christ, and to hope for total transformation of the hearts, the community, and the nation through Christ. Dr. Anjo Keikung, General Secretary of the Nagaland Baptist Church Council, echoed the same vision saying, “The church is not a stationary institution, but a movement…. Let us all resolve from this celebration that we shall yield ourselves individually as well as corporately to the leading of the Holy Spirit so that every single step of life benefits spiritual maturity.”

To watch the videos of the celebration, click:

Featured videos include:

* Sunday Worship Service

* Hallelujah Chorus by Naga Choir

* Naga Cultural Performance

* Youth Performance Future Celebration - Hip Hop by CBCEM

* Solo by Lhouvirielie Uson

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