Buallawn Israel: The Emergence of a Judaising Movement in Mizoram, Northeast India

Myer Samra

Abstract


During the past forty years, a Judaising movement has taken root among the Chikim in Mizoram, Manipur, and the Chin State of North Burma. This movement has propelled a small segment of the Chikim to full conversion to Judaism, settlement in Israel, and adoption of a radically different lifestyle. As of August, 1994, there were around 150 such people living in Israel, mostly young adults between 18 and 30 years of age, and more are expected to arrive in the near future. These people are not the founders of the Judaising movement but represent its second generation, having themselves been raised in families which had already embraced some form of 'Judaism' before they were born …


Certainly in this process there has been a 'stepping over the threshold' from one religious community, Christianity, to another, Judaism. Such a 'change of religious fellowship' would generally 'suggest dissatisfaction, restlessness, seeking something better' … While this is true for those who have now completed the process of conversion, in this paper we shall examine the beliefs and practices of the early followers of the Judaising cult, to show that many of them saw the path they were treading as one mandated by their faith in Jesus: somewhat ironically, in their endeavour to become better Christians, they have drifted in the direction of Judaism.


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