Easter is approaching, but Christians won’t be able to assemble in any traditional place of worship. In the Catholic tradition, all masses have been suspended…
“Curiously apart from Khasi Jaintia Hills and Karbi Anglong in North East India, Unitarianism world wide has not been a mass movement. This intellectual, liberal mode of understanding faith has made up for its numerical insignificance by having many famous individuals subscribing to its ideas, Charles Darwin, Mary Wollstonecraft, Kurt Vonnegut, Tim Berners Lee, Sylvia Plath, Thomas Jefferson. How did this most liberal of Anglo American elite faith tradition find a deep root in these faraway hills with more than 45 churches? Khasi-Pnar people encountered various different faiths which arrived in these hills, not as thankful passive recipients of good word but as argumentative, sceptical, questioning people. Hajom Kissor Singh was one such Presbyterian convert, who not only rejected puritanical notions of Christianity but also on his own developed a liberal ecumenical version of faith which was sensitive both to traditional Khasi conceptions of divine as well as new theological innovations in the west. The puritanical Khasi Presbyterians abused him as “an Atheist”, and called him an “enemy of the Lord,” or the Bengali Brahmos wanted to patronise him and take over the task of interpreting Khasi Pnar ideas, Hajom Kissor Singh remained committed to his own culturally rooted journey of faith.
This account of the early days of Khasi-Pnar Unitarianism and the life and struggles of Hajom Kissor Singh was done by Rev M C Ratter of British and Foreign Unitarian Association in 1930, as part of his book To Nagroi. As a postscript H. H. Mohrmen, pastor of the historic Jowai Unitarian church, and one of the intellectual stalwarts of contemporary Khasi-Pnar community, writes about the creative ways in which Hajom Kissor Singh and others interpreted the notion of God.”
So many people instinctively cheered upon hearing that the Indian Supreme Court has ruled that women of all ages must be granted access to the Sabarimala temple in Kerala. Even I was thrilled that the court’s decision came down on the side recognizing women as equal to men even in religious spaces. However, on further thought, I’m afraid I’ve revised my opinion to a more unpopular or contentious view: I don’t believe that upholding a woman’s right to worship as she pleases in any one particular temple is more important than the principle that state law cannot and should not attempt to regulate religious belief systems. Doing so is entering very dangerous territory that is ultimately likely to backfire in some unexpected and deeply damaging way. Our constitution grants us freedom of religion for very good reasons.
Every year on 18th September, Khasi & Jaintia Hills gets a public holiday for Unitarian Day, a day when Hajom Kissor Singh Lyngdoh Nongbri led the first real Unitarian church service in his home in Jowai in 1887. Apart from the small and influential population of Khasi-Jaintia Unitarians for whom the day has historical and personal meaning others just enjoy the holiday without knowing the historical significance of the Day. For a small faith group worldwide as well as locally, Unitarians suffer from ignorance of society at large. Are Unitarians Christians? What do Unitarians believe in? What does Unitarian mean? So here it goes – a short guide to Unitarianism for you to read this 18th September.
Dear Raiot readers, after the year-end monetary megalomania of Modi-bhaiya, Bhogtoram Mawroh brings us some black humour as respite from the RBI madness.
Any careful analysis of Salafism must take into consideration the diversity within the movement before lumping all self-identified or suspected Salafis or Salafi personalities together and expressing a blanket demonization of a monolithic Salafism
In our society speaking about religion (forget criticizing it) is considered taboo. Heads turn around, eyebrows are raised and legs are shuffled uneasily whenever religion is mentioned. This atmosphere of terror around any public mention of religion is partly because of the mistrust and paranoia that has been (and is being) propagated and mostly due to the severe indoctrination of religious views, the fear of having them refuted, ridiculed or judged. Nobody ever likes to have public debates about God or religion here, because the “other” opinion is simply not allowed to exist. And yet, ironically, religion dictates the everyday life of society.
In most societies the acts of religious conversion do ruffle the feathers of those who take the task of policing group boundaries zealously. In India too the issue of proselytization has been a matter of immense anxiety for the majoritarian groups belonging to Hindu religion
Ki nongthoh histori bad ki nongthoh komentari ki ong ba Hyndai ka Hima Rom ka dei ka pyrthei, kaba mut haba ngi iakren shaphang ka…
“I have heard the voice of the People and understand their sufferings and so I have come down to liberate them” Holy Bible At the…