Pastor with travel history to Netherlands tests positive for Covid-19 in Mizoram

A Christian pastor with travel history to the Netherlands has tested positive for Covid-19 in Mizoram, reports PTI. Authorities said the patient was in the Netherlands for ‘higher studies’. He took a flight from Amsterdam to Doha and then reached Delhi. He then flew to Guwahati and from there took another flight to Aizawl on March 16.

The 50-year-old pastor, his wife and two children have been admitted to the isolation ward at the Zoram Medical College (ZMC), about 16 km from Aizawl, soon after his results came in on Tuesday night.

This is the second case of the pandemic reported from the NorthEast. Yesterday, a 23-year-old woman in Manipur who had come from UK 6 days ago tested positive at a designated lab in Imphal’s JNIMS.

Christians make up 87% of the population of Mizoram, with Presbyterians being the major Christian denomination in the state. Presbyterianism is a sect within Protestantism, which traces its origins to Britain. Christianity spread in Mizoram after the British colonial occupation at the end of the 19th century. Christian missionaries almost completely evangelised the Mizo people within just half a century, completely eradicating the beautiful, indigenous Mizo tribal identity and rooted-in-nature traditional faith systems.

Every year, 12 Jan is celebrated as ‘Missionary Day‘ in Mizoram to mark the arrival of Welsh colonial missionaries in 1890s. It is a declared public holiday when Govt. offices & educational institutions are closed and special prayer services held. Other Christian sects like Seventh Day Adventists, Baptists also exercise considerable clout in Mizo society.

Hindus & Buddhists like the Bru and Chakma tribals face heavy persecution in Mizoram – Brus (also known as Reangs) were driven out of the state in 1997 to neighbouring Tripura, and the Modi Government recently announced a resettlement package for this indigenous tribal minority.

Islamic preachers from countries like Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand & Myanmar – many of them associated with the controversial Islamic evangelical organisation Tablighi Jamaat – have also caused around two dozen infections in southern states like Telangana and Tamil Nadu.

Many Indians returning from religious pilgrimage in Saudi and Iran have been reported to be infected with Covid-19, and some of them have become super spreaders of the disease. Such cases have been reported from Delhi, Ladakh, Jammu & Kashmir, Karnataka, Maharashtra and Kerala.

Since midnight today, the whole of Bharat has been put under a 21-day lockdown in order to control the spread of the Covid19 pandemic which has thus far seen 641 cases and 11 deaths in the country.


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