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Lectures by Iliyana Angelova

'Till all nations hear': enhancing the legacy of the American Baptist Missionary Union in Nagaland

Graduate Seminars in Indic Religions
24 May 2013

In the 19th century, led by their desire to convert the Shans of Upper Burma and ultimately reach China, missionaries from the American Baptist Missionary Union ended up in the plains of Assam in Northeast India and from there embarked on a dangerous evangelising mission among the 'wild' and 'uncivilised' Naga tribes inhabiting the hills bordering Assam. What proved to be a slow and difficult beginning resulted in the mass conversion of the Naga to Christianity which gave them reason to proudly proclaim by the end of the 20th century that they were the most Christian state in the world. Building up on the example of the American missionaries, Naga Christianity nowadays is characterised by a distinct evangelical zeal which has led Naga missionaries all over the world. The paper will seek to elucidate the ideology and some of the challenges which underpin this contemporary missionary endeavour.

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