In Search of Chin Identity

A Study in Religion, Politics and Ethnic Identity in Burma

by Lian H. Sakhong

  • Published:
  • Pages: 304 pp.
  • illustrations & maps
  • Series number: 91
Available from NIAS Press worldwide

The conversion of the Chin to Christianity from their traditional religion had unintended consequences as they became involved in Burmese independence movements and began to articulate their own Christian traditions of democracy. Just how Christianity has provided the Chin people with a means of preserving their national identity in the midst of multi-ethnic and multi-religious environments is the main focus of this study.

• First in-depth study on Chin nationalism and Christianity.
• Contains valuable data on the Chin and their role in the history of Burma.
• Provides a clear analysis of the close relationship between religion, ethnicity and nationalism.

Prior to British annexation in 1896, Chinram was an independent country ruled by traditional tribal and local chiefs. Annexation saw the land divided between India and Burma and Chin society abruptly transformed, not least by the arrival of Christian missionaries. The conversion of the Chin to Christianity from traditional locally based Chin religion had unintended consequences as the Chin became involved in Burmese independence movements. They began to articulate their own Christian traditions of democracy and assert a burgeoning self-awareness of their own national identity. Moreover, the church has taken a key role in the struggle of Chin liberation movements in Burma and India. Just how Christianity has provided the Chin people with a means of preserving their national identity in the midst of multi-ethnic and multi-religious environments is the main focus of this study.

Written by an exiled former Secretary General of the Chin National League for Democracy, this study contains valuable data on the Chin and their role in the history of Burma, and provides a clear analysis of the close relationship between religion, ethnicity and nationalism.

by Konstantinos Retsikas, University of Sussex
From journal:
Aseasuk News no. 35, Spring 2004

"Written for a wide audience interested in issues of ethnicity, religion and historial change."

"Written for a wide audience interested in issues of ethnicity, religion and historial change."

by Kekhriesituo Yhome, Independent researcher (India)
From journal:
Asian Journal of Social Science 38 (2010)

One of the  most significant contributions of the book is that it is a comprehensive history of the Chin people from a Chin’s perspective.  It provides a lucid history of the Chin pre-colonial history and makes a critical study of the continuities and changes in the Chin post-colonial society.

One of the  most significant contributions of the book is that it is a comprehensive history of the Chin people from a Chin’s perspective.  It provides a lucid history of the Chin pre-colonial history and makes a critical study of the continuities and changes in the Chin post-colonial society.  The book is an important contribution to the literature of Chin people and will be useful for students and researchers.  Another significant work in understanding issues pertaining to colonial encounter and the ‘native’ response to the external forces.  Specifically, scholars working on the impacts of Christianity on the traditional religions and belief systems will find it interesting and resourceful.

×
×

Cart