29th January,2011 will be marked as a Red-Lettered Day in the history of Christianity in the North –Eastern State of Arunachal Pradesh, the Land of Dawn Lit Mountains. On this day the first Orthodox Church in Arunachal Pradesh was consecrated at the heart of Itanagar, the capital city by Dr.Joseph Mar Dionysius, the Metropolitan of Calcutta Diocese.
For a long time Arunachal Pradesh remained hostile for all kinds of Chrisitian activities. By the grace of God the conditions are changing and now Christian worship is allowed even though it is not encouraged. In the past a Congregation consisting of Orthodox and Marthomites was functioning with Priests from Guwahati celebrating Holy Qurbana once in a month. Understanding the need of the area and sensing the vast opportunities of this unexplored region the Metropolitan appointed Fr.K.S. George as the missionary priest of the area. His presence has enthused the Orthodox community and a request for having regular service was conveyed to the Metropolitan which was granted without any delay. With the Diocesan assistance the community was able to get a hall on rent since non-locals are not allowed to own property in the state. With in no time the rented hall was converted into a worshipping centre and the same was consecrated on 29th, Jan. The consecration service was attended by Fr.K.S.George ﴾ Vicar ﴿ , Fr.K.I. Varghese ﴾Guwahati﴿, Fr. Joshi Varghese ﴾Dimapur﴿ Mr.John ﴾ Rowing ﴿ and believers from different parts of Arunachal Pradesh, Assam and Nagaland. On 30th, Sunday Holy Qurbana was celebrated by Mar Dionysius which was followed by a public meeting.
Mar Dionysius urged the members to be People of God with a proper reflection of the spirit of fellowship. Mr.Pertin IAS, the Commissioner Industries and owner of the building narrated his experiences as a Christian. Along with his family Mr.Pertin IAS embraced Christianity in 2005. He exhorted the members to open the doors of the Church for others and to take the Gospel to the worshippers of Sun and Moon.
It is also worth mentioning the role of St. Thomas Orthodox Theological Seminary, Nagpur, in revitalizing our people who are living in various parts of Arunachal Pradesh. As part of Seminary field work in 2005 Br.P.S.Varghse was sent to the North –East to explore possibilities of organizing our people who were living in remote areas of different North -eastern states. As per his reports in 2006 Br.Sanju John was sent to these places for further works. Starting of prayer groups at Siro, Rowing and Khonzani in Arunachal Pradesh was the handiwork of Fr. Sanju John. At present Holy Qurbana is celebrated at these places by Fr.K.S.George.
By the Grace of God a new mission field with great avenues is being opened. Let us rise to the occasion and fulfill the Last Commission of our Lord “go therefore and make disciples of all nations…” ﴾ Mt.28. 19 ﴿