This week, please join us in prayer for Elilo (Eli) Ezung from Nagaland in Northeast India.
Nagaland, along with Meghalaya and Mizoram, is one of three Indian states with a Christian majority. Nearly 90% of Nagaland’s 2 million people identify as Christians. In the 19th century, Naga territory was invaded and ruled first by Burmans from Myanmar and then by the British. Following India’s 1947 independence, through Nagaland’s institution as an Indian state in 1963, and up to the present time, political tensions and sporadic violence continue between Naga nationalists and the Indian government, as well as among various Naga tribes. Pray for our Naga sisters and brothers in Christ as they seek peace and reconciliation in their homeland.
Eli is pursuing a PhD in World Christianity from the University of Edinburgh (UK). Her research explores Pneumatology in the Naga context, examining the role of the Holy Spirit in forming Christian community, distributing spiritual gifts, and bringing reconciliation. Eli’s work will guide the Naga Church’s ministry and witness amid rising secularism and ongoing political challenges. Prior to her studies, Eli served as Director of Christian Education for the Naga Christian Fellowship in Pune, India.
Eli shares the following message:
I am very grateful for this opportunity to share my prayer requests and a little about my research with the ScholarLeaders Prayer Community.
I belong to the Lotha community of Naga people in Northeast India. Although Nagas also live in the neighboring states of Manipur, Assam, and Arunachal – and even in Myanmar – the majority is concentrated in Nagaland, a Christian-majority state.
Over the years, we have experienced tremendous challenges due to Naga nationalist groups that grew out of the Indo-Naga conflict, which started in the late 1940s. The nationalist groups were mostly a response to the 1958 implementation of the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, which imposed military rule on Nagaland and other states in Northeast India.
Due to our complicated political history with India and the failure to reach a “solution” to date, Nagas continue to search for peace and reconciliation within our fragmented society and with the Indian government. The Naga Church has been faithful, playing an active role in reconciliation while awaiting an amicable solution for our deeply wounded society.
I am currently entering my third year of PhD studies in World Christianity at the University of Edinburgh. My research focuses on how Pneumatology thrives among Naga Christians today. In particular, I am looking at themes of community, charismata, and salvation. I hope that my research will contribute to a deeper understanding of the Holy Spirit and of how the Spirit invites Naga people into relationships of reconciliation and healing in their social and political lives.
1. Pray that the Naga Church will continue to play an active role and not grow weary in this long process of seeking peace and reconciliation.
2. Pray for critical thinking and writing, wisdom to manage my time wisely, and self-discipline as I continue in my research.
3. Pray for my family in Nagaland, that they will continue to grow in the knowledge of God. My parents and four siblings have been a huge support to me ever since the beginning of my theological studies. It is because of their prayers and support that I have come thus far, and I thank God for their lives.
4. After my PhD studies, I will be serving at Everest Theological Institute (ETI) in Kathmandu. ETI provides effective theological education to Church leaders and pastors throughout Nepal. Please pray that ETI will be faithful to this calling and that the Nepali Church will grow deeply rooted in Christ through the leadership and ministry of ETI alumni.