Chief Minister Shri Lal Thanhawla yesterday graced an important conclave of Church leaders of North East India ‘North East India Congress on Church in Mission’ (NEICOCIM) at the Council of Baptist Churches in North East India (CBCNEI) Office at Guwahati. At the conclave, he was honoured by the Evangelical Fellowship of India(EFI) with a Lifetime Achievement Award.

Chief Minister Lal Thanhawla expressed his gratitude to EFI for bestowing the Award on him and said “The Award speaks about how Evangelical Fellowship of India valued peace and conflict resolution including the then insurgency movement in Mizoram. By giving this award, I feel that the Evangelical Fellowship of India has recognized the little sacrifice I have made for the sake of peace in Mizoram”. He expressed hope that the recognition of the sacrifice he made for peace would encourage other Christian leaders for similar conflict resolutions in the country, including the North Eastern States.

Saying that he was privileged to be a Life Member of EFI, he lauded the highly commendable contributions made by the EFI, among others, for peace and reconciliation, even in serious ethnic conflict situations. He cited two specific examples of how EFI leaders brokered lasting peace, putting their own lives at risk during the June 1992 Kuki-Naga ethnic conflict and the April 2003 ethnic conflict between the Cachari-Dimasa and Hmar tribes. He said EFI-organised leadership camps for church leaders and elders of these communities helped bring peace and reconciliation in these areas when even the administrative machineries of the state and the central had failed. The fact that even till today these tribes are living amicably in harmony and peace is testifies that God strengthens and blesses the efforts of his children for peace.

He called upon Christians to live by the principles of the Church and the teachings of Christ and be examples to others wherever they are in the country.