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Mizoram Christians Reject Yoga Practice

Saturday, June 30, 2018, 18:46 (IST)

Christian dominated Mizoram state has opposed yoga practice by refusing to take part on World Yoga Day on June 21.

The big day was celebrated across the country after Prime Minister Narendra Modi urged the nation to revel in and promote its culture, but Christians in Mizoram dubbed the event "anti-Christian.

"Ours is a Christian state. We cannot accept yoga because we see it as a part of Hinduism," said Vanlalruata, president of the People's Representation for Identity and Status of Mizoram (Prism), a newly floated political party.

"We refuse to practice yoga and we will keep opposing this celebration in our state," he added.

On World Yoga Day, Modi performed exercises after sunrise with a gathering of 50,000 people in the Himalayan foothills, in the hill town of Dehradun

Yoga is "enriching millions of lives all over the world," said Modi, a staunch Hindu nationalist.

"The gems of India's unique heritage, such as yoga, will be respected by he world at large only when we ourselves respect our culture and traditions," he added.

However, Mizoram church leaders said that yoga is incompatible with their culture and religion.

"Here, the International Day of Yoga is just a normal day," said Fr K.M. Arulappan, vicar-general of Aizawl Diocese, the state capital.

"People here don't consider it a big deal and the church neither encourages nor discourages people from practicing yoga," he added, according to ucanews.com.