UCA News

India

Churches in northeast India offer quarantine facilities

Almost 100 churches in Mizoram are ready to house returnees to the Christian-majority state

Support Asia's largest network of Catholic journalists and editors
Support Asia's largest network of Catholic journalists and editors
Churches in northeast India offer quarantine facilities

A municipal worker sprays disinfectant in an alley where a patient had tested positive for the coronavirus in Siliguri on May 18 during a government-imposed nationwide lockdown as a preventive measure against the spread of Covid-19. (Photo: AFP)

Share this article :
Church institutions in Mizoram, a Christian-majority state in Northeast India, have agreed to offer their facilities to the state government for use as quarantine centers.

An official of the state government confirmed that it had asked churches to provide their halls to serve as quarantine centers for people returning from outside the state as there is a shortage of quarantine facilities in Mizoram.

“We are more than willing to help the state and our people as it is the collective responsibility of all of us including the government to come together at this difficult time. The Church is always at the forefront in social work through its social wing,” Bishop Stephen Rotluanga of Aizawl told UCA News.

“Our diocese through its social action wing has already helped more than 5,000 people with food and other daily staples during the lockdown. We stand with other denominations to help all and do whatever we can.

“There is no problem as such as we are already active in the social action field, but some logistical details have to be worked out with the government regarding what kind of facilities it wants because many of our halls are interconnected. It’s just a question of sorting out the logistics, but we are ready with the facilities.”

The bishop said 96 churches from different denominations in Mizoram have come forward and are lending their halls to serve as quarantine facilities.

A government official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said various denominations have agreed to the requisitioning of halls to accommodate returnees.  Of these, 75 belong to the Presbyterian Church, 15 to the Baptist Church of Mizoram and six to the Salvation Army.

The Presbyterian Church has also lent its synod conference hall and revival camp at Durtlang for quarantine purposes.

The official said 884 people stranded in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry had returned to the state and more than 10,000 people are waiting do so.

Some churches are also providing food as well as free Wi-Fi to those in quarantine, adding that there are 182 designated quarantine facilities in the state.

C. Lalramliana, secretary of Aizawl Venghnuai Presbyterian Church, said it was happy to extend help. “It is a question of humanity at this time of crisis and we wholeheartedly give our church hall.”

Mizoram, sandwiched between Bangladesh and Myanmar, is one of India's only three Christian-majority states. Christians form close to 90 percent of the state's 1.1 million people. Some 8 percent are Buddhists, with Hindus accounting for the remainder.

The population contrasts with the national average of 80 percent Hindus and 2.3 percent Christians. In Meghalaya and Nagaland, also in the Northeast, Christians represent almost 90 percent of the population.

Support UCA News...

As 2020 unfolds, we are asking readers like you to help us keep Union of Catholic Asian News (UCA News) free so it can be accessed from anywhere in the world at no cost.

That has been our policy for years and was made possible by donations from European Catholic funding agencies. However, like the Church in Europe, these agencies are in decline and the immediate and urgent claims on their funds for humanitarian emergencies in Africa and parts of Asia mean there is much less to distribute than there was even a decade ago.

Forty years ago, when UCA News was founded, Asia was a very different place - many poor and underdeveloped countries with large populations to feed, political instability and economies too often poised on the edge of collapse. Today, Asia is the economic engine room of the world and funding agencies quite rightly look to UCA News to do more to fund itself.

UCA News has a unique product developed from a view of the world and the Church through informed Catholic eyes. Our journalistic standards are as high as any in the quality press; our focus is particularly on a fast-growing part of the world - Asia - where, in some countries the Church is growing faster than pastoral resources can respond to - South Korea, Vietnam and India to name just three.

And UCA News has the advantage of having in its ranks local reporters that cover 22 countries and experienced native English-speaking editors to render stories that are informative, informed and perceptive.

We report from the ground where other news services simply can't or won't go. We report the stories of local people and their experiences in a way that Western news outlets simply don't have the resources to reach. And we report on the emerging life of new Churches in old lands where being a Catholic can at times be very dangerous.

With dwindling support from funding partners in Europe and the USA, we need to call on the support of those who benefit from our work.

Click here to find out the ways you can support UCA News. You can make a difference for as little as US$5...
UCAN Donate
YOUR DAILY
NEWSLETTER
Thank you. You are now signed up to our Daily Full Bulletin newsletter
 
Support UCA News

William J. Grimm, MM

Publisher

Union of Catholic Asian News

"As Pope Francis has said, we live not so much in an era of change as in a change of era. That is especially true in Asia and for the churches of Asia. UCA News is the dedicated, Asia-wide news and information service for the Church in Asia and we need your help to maintain the service."