Representatives from nine denominations congregated for the Kaipeng Christian Diamond Jubilee, a two-day celebration held on December 27th and 28th at Dhanlekha Khua, Ampi Nagar RD block, Gomati, Tripura.
Over 3,000 Kaipeng tribal Christians from all over Tripura as well as from other states particularly Mizoram, took part in the celebration of 60 years of Kaipeng Christianity.
The theme, “Only Let Us Live Up to What We Have Already Attained,” was emphasised by distinguished dignitaries who motivated the Kaipeng participants to remain faithful to Christian principles and to work for social development.
Rev. Laltanpuia Kaipeng was the main speaker at the event. A representative from the Mizoram Synod in Tripura also spoke on the occasion.
Originating from the Halam tribal community of Tripura, the Kaipeng tribals embraced Christianity in 1962, with approximately 85% of them adhering to the faith today. The community, totaling around 16,000 individuals in India, predominantly resides in Tripura, with a smaller presence in Mizoram.
Mr. Laldomthang Kaipeng, the Convenor for the celebration of the Diamond Jubilee addressed the media and briefed them regarding the participation of various denominations and leaders from the wider Christian community who also joined in the celebrations.
The Diamond Jubilee festivities included the release of a commemorative souvenir and a blessing for the Kaipeng people. Participants engaged in moments of prayer, song and dance, paying homage to former Kaipeng Christian social reformers.
The Convenor highlighted that the central motive behind commemorating the Kaipeng Christian Diamond Jubilee was to recognize the tribe's social progress through Christianity in regions such as Tripura and Mizoram. The grace of the Lord was acknowledged as a guiding force propelling the tribe towards a future marked by unity, love, understanding, peace and harmony. The jubilee served as an inspiration, instilling a collective eagerness to collaborate for the improvement of the Kaipeng generation, echoing the overarching theme of unity.
The participants were treated to an elaborate feast, and Christian preachers underscored the meaningful impact of the Christian faith on societal well-being. Notable figures in attendance at the event comprised Rev. Rangtuasanga Darlong, the General Secretary of the Tripura Baptist Christian Union, Rev. John Thilsong, Superintendent of the Tang Pui Presbytery of the Evangelical Free Church of India, along with Rev. Rajani Kaipeng, Rev. Kalu Kalai, Rev. B. Rothangpui, and numerous other esteemed dignitaries.
The festivities commenced with a grand candle lighting ceremony, setting the stage for a tranquil thanksgiving march along Tuidu market road. The procession gracefully concluded at St. James Catholic Church, adjacent to the Kaipeng Christian Diamond Jubilee memorial stone, with prominent figures leading the way.
Hon. Capt(Rtd) Muktaram Kaipeng, representing the Catholic Church, and Elder Ramany Kaipeng from the Presbyterian Church, shared profound biblical messages, underscoring the importance of Christian love and mutual respect. Pu Vanlalkhawm Kaipeng, a revered Christian elder, spoke about the history of the first Kaipeng Christian initiation, attributing its success to the grace of Almighty God for uplifting the Kaipeng tribe. He passionately encouraged believers to continue celebrating Gospel Day with love, joy, and unwavering devotion, drawing inspiration from the grace of Jesus Christ.
At the event, Pu Sonmanlian Kaipeng, a respected Christian elder, emphasised the importance of following the Lord's commandments for a pure Christian life. He inspired participants and encouraged the Kaipeng people to plan an even more impressive program in the coming year.
Gospel songs filled the air, and mass prayers were held, creating a spiritually uplifting atmosphere. A minute of remembrance was observed for those who sacrificed their lives while preaching the Gospel, who aimed to bring peace and prosperity to the Kaipeng society.
As the festivities concluded, the distribution of sweets among children left everyone in a joyous mood. The Kaipeng Christian community expressed their commitment to continuing the tradition of celebrating Gospel Day, embracing the teachings of Jesus Christ, and fostering unity and prosperity within their society.