Tangsa (Agenzia Fides) - The opening of a new church marks the celebration of 25 years of the presence of faith in a district in the diocese of Miao, in north-eastern India. The faithful of the village of Hetlong, in the Changlang district of the State of Arunachal Pradesh, rejoiced at the consecration of the new church, blessed on 10 February by Bishop George Pallipparambil Sdb, whose diocese extends in a region located on the border with the People's Republic of China and Myanmar. The territory is hilly and most of the parishes are located in remote places, inhabited by the indigenous Tangsa. The local indigenous community, of about 30 Catholic families previously had a bamboo building as a place of prayer, which had been used as a local chapel for the past 25 years. Now the new structure in concrete and wood has been inaugurated on the occasion of the celebration of the "Silver Jubilee" of the first evangelization in the area. Bishop Pallipparambil, while celebrating the solemn Mass, recalled that the faithful "have remained steadfast in the faith for 25 years", urging them to "keep the flame of faith alive in their lives".
The new church is dedicated to the apostle Peter and has so far been linked to the Parish of Nampong, in the diocese of Miao, managed by the Society of the Missionaries of St. Francis Xavier, also known as "Pilar Fathers".
Kothan Mossang, the village chief and one of the first to receive baptism in the village, was present at the inauguration of the new church, while during the Eucharistic celebration 30 children received the Sacraments of First Communion and several young people that of Confirmation.
Catholic Mp Laisam Simai, Councilor for tourism and information of the government of Arunachal Pradesh, was present at the event sharing his experience of faith: "Wherever I have been, as a student and even today, I always look for the nearest Church to attend Sunday Mass and to experience the grace that comes from the sacraments", he said.
Christianity is the majority religion in the state of Arunachal Pradesh, since it brings together more than 30% of the population, mostly indigenous. The diocese of Miao covers 8 districts of the state of Arunachal Pradesh (Tirap, Changlang, Lohit, Longding, Anjaw, Namsai, Dibang Valley, Lower Dibang Valley) and has more than 91 thousand baptized. (SD-PA) (Agenzia Fides, 15/2/2021)