Category Archives: revival

Revival in Nagaland—Opposition

Previously I wrote a little about the revival in Nagaland which started in the 1950’s. In any move or work of God we should be aware of potential opposition. Ephesians 6:10-12 tells us,

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.

 

Certainly those involved in the Nagaland revival found that opposition was manifest not only from outside the church but from within. I shall use rev. Angami’s own words to express some of what was experienced.

“As the revival fire spread there was great opposition from people who had not experienced the touch of the Holy Spirit. Some church leaders were excommunicated because they came under the sway of the Holy Spirit and became part of the revival. Many members of the congregation because of their ardent support for the revival movement were persecuted and threatened in many ways and asked to withdraw their support for the fast spreading Holy Spirit revival.

Rev Angami goes on to tell of believers who constructed their own building after rejection by other churches,

One night when the service was continuing, some people who were against the revival came and set fire on the church building…right after they [the believers inside the church] came out, the roof of the church burned and crushed down. In many places church buildings were dismantled and burnt. Believers were severely persecuted. In 1962 I went to Mungchun village with six other people. We had a prayer meeting in a private house as we were not welcome in the church. After the night service, we, the visitors, as we came out of the meeting, were led away by a group of young men and were beaten and dragged out of the village. we were ordered never to visit the village again. they left us in the jungle and went back to their village.

One final quote perhaps sums up the work of God in all of this,

Instructions were issued (both in written and verbal) that Christian revival preachers should not be given pulpit. However, the revival fire continue to spread even to this day. (My emphasis added.)

Revival in Nagaland

In the 1950’s God visited Nagaland in an amazing way, today we would call it revival not in being a series of meetings but in being a move of the sovereign God.

I have been reading a booklet by Rev. Neihulie Angami entitled Nagaland Revivals and the Formation of Nagaland Christian Revival Church. In it he speaks of one of the first American missionaries, E. W. Clark, who took the Gospel to the head hunting tribes of Nagaland,

“When Rev. Clark had gone to the Naga Hills, leaving his wife at Sibsagor, one British Officer…asked Mrs Clark, “When have you last heard from Mr Clark?Do you ever expect to see your husband back with his head on his shoulders?” At great risk to their lives the American pioneer missionaries…brought the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the domain of the ferocious Nagas…Through the hard labours and prayers of these missionaries Christianity spread almost over all Nagaland.”

Unfortunately after WWII there was an obvious need for revival seen in the lives of many Nagas,

“Robbery, adultery, drunkenness, dishonesty became common in Nagaland, Christians became world, lukewarm, indifferent to god and their spiritual life had touched the lowest ebb.”

 

At this moment God in love and grace stepped in and started to revive his church and bring salvation to many. Rev. Angmai quotes some of peoples experiences through the time of revival—here is one example:

When questioned about his and a colleagues presence in a village a local believer stood up and said, “Friends since these preachers have come, many people are turning to Christ, with broken heart, confessing their sins to God in repentance. Every day many sick people are coming to them for prayer. I never knew that there were so many sinners and sick people in this town until these preachers came.” The revival did not come in a moment of time but it came when people sought God in humility and prayer (My emphasis added.)

From 1957 onwards, starting in Wokha town, Rev Angami speaks of an outpouring of the Holy Spirit in Nagaland. It was clear to all that the power of God had invaded the lives of many,

“A great change came over the people. The fruit of the Spirit…could be seen in the daily lives of believers. The heathen saw the wonderful change that had come over the Christians and it simply overwhelmed them…The Holy Spirit revival in Nagaland was in answer to the prayers of the saints of God. In many churches revival broke out without any revival preacher. “