Chin Communities Held Seminars and Conferences Across The World
A series of seminars and conferences was held in recent months by Chin communities in their respective residing countries including USA, Canada, Norway, Denmark, Germany and Sweden.
The event which happens once a year or once in two years time in some countries is organised as part of the aims for protecting and promoting unity and developing a closer relationship among the Chin people.
Chin communities in Germany yesterday held a conference, ending with a friendly football match. One team from a combination of those living in Nuremberg and Munich played against another team from Frankfurt.
In North America, Chin Christian Fellowship of Canada (CCFC) held a four-day long conference in Kitchener, Ontario with more than 300 participants in June and Chin Baptist Fellowship of America (CBFA) their second annual conference in Dallas, Texas with more than 600 participants in July.
Salai Cung Cin, the newly elected Executive Director of CCFC, said: “Year after year, I am so impressed to see the growing national Unity, understanding, cooperation, and love among our Chin people across Canada. Indeed, I am so thankful to all our respective Church/fellowship leaders, community leaders, Resource persons, and all my fellow Chins for all their contributions and painstaking works which make our works possible. May we continuously strengthen the very spirit of our oneness as a people with a shared history, cultures, and a shared common destiny!”
The first meeting ever held by the Chin people living in Norrbotten, Sweden, combined with the opening ceremony of Chin Christian Church Sweden took place in the last week of July this year.
In Norway, more than 500 Chins attended the 3rd biennial conference organised in Stavanger, the fourth biggest city in Norway by Norway Chin Christian Fellowship (NCCF) and the conference was also attended by some Chin fellows from countries including Germany, Denmark, Sweden and Burma.
Invited as special guests to the conferences in Denmark and Norway included Rev. Dr. Stephen Hre Kio and his wife from the US. Known among the Falam-Chins as their missionary ‘Siangbawipa’, Rev. Dr. Stephen Hre Kio, the current pastor of Indiana Chin Baptist Church, Indianapolis, was a United Bible Society Translation consultant after working for various religious organisations and churches in Chin State including translating the Bible into Falam from 1974 to 1985.
Former General Secretary of Zomi Baptist Convention, Rev. Dr. Chum Awi meanwhile called on Chin communities worldwide for forming International Chin Christian Fellowship which will serve as an umbrella organisation for Chin Christians and churches across the globe.
The 3rd Chin Student Union of North America conference was successfully held on 2-3 August, 2008 in Battle Creek with over 80 Chin university students, high school students and alumni from Canada and the US.
“Our fellow students once again have shown us how important and invaluable unity is amongst ourselves. On the other hand, I have come to realize that the differences among the Chin peoples are what make the Chins unique. I am honoured to be a small part of an organization that always shows us ‘Unity in Diversity’”, says the newly elected General Secretary, Salai Shing Ki Gei.
The conference programs incorporated various items such as Praise and Worship, Bible Study, workshops on various topics which include health, education, and the prevalent Chin humanitarian issues aiming at promoting the social and spiritual well-being of the Chin people, sing-song services, sports, writing competitions and concerts.
The Chin people, like other ethnic nationalities in Burma, left their homeland in search of refuge in other countries due to political repression, religious persecution, ethnic cleansing and fundamental human rights violation inflicted upon by the brutal military regime. It is estimated that there are currently, according to a report by CHRO (Chin Human Rights Organisation), about 60, 000 Chin refugees in India and 30,000 in Malaysia, and several thousands more in Bangladesh as well as Thailand.
Van Biak Thang
17 August, 2008