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�Arrival of Rev Clark transformed Naga society�

By Correspondent

DIMAPUR, Dec 24 - Nagaland Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio said the arrival of the American Baptist missionary Rev Dr EW Clark at Molungkimong village under Mokokchung district in 1872 had transformed the Naga society through the spread of Christianity and education.

Inaugurating the First Baptistry Annexe in the village on Saturday, Rio said the arrival of Clark to Nagaland was a godsend.

December 22 is significant as it was on this day in 1872 that the first Baptist Church in Nagaland was planted at Molungkimong with the baptism of the 15 converts by Clark, according to a release issued by the organisers of the programme.

Rio said the Nagas were headhunters then and living in isolation without a ruler or a government. The arrival of the American preacher during that time transformed the Naga society, he added.

He said the Christian community in India constitutes only 2.5 per cent of the country�s population. However, no government at the Centre could ignore them because the �Christians are the most advanced community�, he said adding the Nagas are part of that �special and powerful community�.

Rio further said the Nagas still have traits of �animal instinct and barbaric attitude�. This leads to quarrel among themselves, he observed.

He asked the people to ponder whether they will remain mere followers of Christianity or be true Christians in spirit by following the values and teachings of Jesus Christ. �As Christian, we believe in God. But if our belief and our action do not go together, I think we are destroying ourselves,� Rio asserted.

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