Indian Christian Secular Party (ICSP) in Nagaland has promised of sending 10,000 missionaries from the state to rest of the world to spread Christianity, if the side performs well in upcoming Loksabha elections.
“Our forefathers had a dream — that Nagaland send 10,000 Christian missionaries out into the world. But that dream remains unfulfilled. I will take up the task once I win the election,” says MM Thromwa Konyak, a doctor of philosophy and religion from the Agape Christian Theological Seminary in Hyderabad.
He means it quite literally. His primary poll promise is that he will send 10,000 missionaries from Nagaland to countries across the world and spread the message of Christ. “Nagaland is a Christian-majority state. I believe in and practise politics that is based on Christian principles. But I should not be mistaken as a religious bigot or communal. I am Christian by faith, Indian by citizenship and Naga by blood,” Konyak said.
Besides this, Konyak has also promised he will build churches in the remote areas of the hill state, especially those along the India-Myanmar border in eastern Nagaland, if he wins the seat. “I will also push for better salaries for pastors serving in the state’s remote areas, which are in desperate need of good schools, healthcare and connectivity. I will work for all of this,” he adds.
Before his entry into politics, Konyak was headmaster of a Bible school in the state. This is Konyak’s third foray into electoral politics. In the 2008 and 2013 assembly elections, he contested as an Independent but did not win. He had tried to get a BJP ticket, which did not work out either.
In Nagaland, approximately 96% of the population is Christian. Christianity in Nagaland came with the American Baptist Mission in mid-19th century.