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Diocese of Mizoram to evangelise the Welsh

Written by: Staff
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London, Mar 6 (UNI) Missionaries from Wales had once spread Christianity in north-east India and now the Diocese of Mizoram has sent a missionary to south Wales, in an effort to evangelise the Welsh.

It is planning to send a second in April, to help the Welsh Presbyterian Church cope with its shortage of ministers. Rev Hmar Sangkhuma, who runs yoga classes for the elderly and works as a ''mission enabler'' in Maesteg, near Bridgend, feels many people in Wales were suffering from a ''spiritual void''. ''There is a perceived lack of relevance of Christianity in the lives based on materialism,'' he said.

Many Mizos were converted to Christianity by the Welsh between 1840 and 1960 and ties to the Presbyterian Church of Wales, which the Mizos refer to as the ''Mother Church'', are very strong.

Rev Zosang Colney, of the Diocese of Mizoram, said the churches in Wales seemed to be ''declining physically and spiritually. Many church buildings have been closed down. The Mizos, therefore, have a responsibility to do something for their Mother Church in Wales''.

A second missionary from Mizoram, Rev John Colney, is expected to move to Wales this year. Sylvia Coombes, of the Council For World Mission, which organises the mission partners, said it was normal for foreign countries to send missionaries to Britain. ''Look at Mizoram, it is over 80 per cent Christian - you can't say that about the UK,'' she said.

Rev Daffyd Jones, the mission secretary for the Presbyterian Church of Wales, appreciated 49 year old Sangkhuma, for helping out with the when there was a shortage of ministers in the Church. ''He works as a mission enabler and also runs rehabilitation for young offenders,'' he said. ''It is quite moving for us to hear and see how the Mizos describe us as their Mother Church,'' he added.

UNI XC PR RN1804

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