Recently, the Pontifical Mission Society for the Propagation of the Faith participated in the funding of a church for Catholics in Nagaland State, a remote area of North East India, bordering with Myanmar. The church, situated in the village of Najauna is within the parish of Tening parish, in the diocese of Khoima.
The area is home to 16 ethnic Naga tribal peoples, 450 of which are Catholics who residing in different villages in the parish.
Christians are a minority in the region and Catholics make up only a small portion of the baptised, most of whom are Protestant.
The church is part of the overall pastoral plan of the Bishop, who wants to ensure that Catholics in the parish have a dignified structure in which to gather for the Eucharist and the other sacraments. In fact, the new church provides the Catholic community with a point of reference and a place for community building for young and old, married couples and children. The project was a work of love and engaged the whole community, who contributed by sharing in the actual construction of the church.
The community had to overcome great obstacles for the church to become a reality. The closest point of distribution for building materials is the city of Dimapur, located 125 kilometers from Najauna. In fact, materials had to be carried by hand for the last few kilometers because of lack of road access to the village, which could only be done during the dry season from December to May.
On top of this, the pandemic forced some of the construction workers to leave the site. Notwithstanding all of these challenges, the courage and tenacity of the faithful ensured that the church was completed and consecrated on December 2, 2020.
God bless the Christians in Tening parish!