Breakpoint: A Christian state in India

Colson refers to Nagaland, which a state in India that is 90% Christian as a Baptist Tibet.

What makes these numbers even more remarkable is that, as recently as 125 years ago, many Nagas were head-hunters! They were converted to Christianity through the work of courageous Baptist missionaries in the late 1800s and early 1900s.

Christianity not only transformed individuals, but Naga society, as well: Nagaland’s literacy rate is four times that of the rest of India; they have “created effective health care programs”; and their goal is to send 10,000 missionaries to India, Burma, and the rest of Asia.

It will come as no surprise that the Nagas’ relationship with the rest of India is tense. Ethnic and religious differences led to what has been called India’s “dirty little war” in which at least 200,000 Nagas were killed during the last half of the twentieth century. Indian troops “burned entire villages, raped women in churches, and then burned the churches.”

Even after a cease-fire, Indian troops continued to show “disdain for the Nagas’ churches and religion,” prompting the Christian Century to compare India’s treatment of Nagaland to China’s treatment of Tibet.

Recently, the Nagas, like the rest of India’s 23 million Christians, have experienced discrimination, even violence, from Hindu nationalists. The former ruling party, the BJP, as part of its “Hinduization” program, enacted laws aimed at preventing conversions to Christianity; and its followers burned churches and even killed pastors and parishioners.

Once again, the BJP won't let the good work of Christ impede their desire to assert a Hindu world in all of India.


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