September 18th marks the 128th anniversary of the birth of Khasi Unitarianism. On this day in1887, Hajjom Kissor Singh started the journey of organized Unitarianism in North East India.
According to The Shillong Times, this year’s celebration was marked with a day-long program which included morning prayers at 9 am, a worship service at 2 pm, sports for children at 4 pm and a torch procession at 5.30 pm. Religious heads of different denominations attended a candle lighting. The theme of the celebration is ‘Religious Tolerance and Liberalism – the Need of the Hour’.
From The Times of India:
Unitarianism is a unique movement in the realms of spiritualism which draws its theology largely from the indigenous Khasi religion.
Meghalaya perhaps is the only state in the country where there is a state holiday on this day.
As with traditional Khasi faith, the major emphasis of Khasi unitarianism is to carry out one’s duty towards God and fellow humans. Unitarians stress on the unity of God as opposed to trinity…
In the Khasi-Jaintia Hills, the movement was founded by Babu Hajom Kissor Singh (June 15, 1865-November 13, 1923). He came from a Christian family, but was dissatisfied with the orthodox Christian doctrine of his time.
With the help of Khasi Brahmos and American Unitarians, in 1887 he began the Unitarian movement at Jowai with three companions. He called his faith “Ka Niam Untarian’ (The Unitarian Religion.) On September 18, 1887, an anniversary date Khasi Unitarians celebrate, Singh led the first real church service at his home in Jowai.
A bright student, Singh became a “questioning member” of the Methodist Church, doubting orthodox Christianity. Singh observed that the Welsh missionaries had done away with the fear of demons only to replace it with fear of hell. He concluded from his studies that he would have to leave their church to seek “the true religion of Jesus, the love of God.”
Adapting some of the traditional values of Khasi culture, Singh defined Khasi unitarianism in terms of duty to God, to fellow humans and to oneself.
A warm congratulations to our Khasi Brothers & Sisters on this year’s anniversary! TO NANGROI 128!
Enjoy the following videos, which commemorate past Unitarian Day celebrations:
From East Shore Unitarian & their partner churches in Smit & Kharang:
From the 125th celebration: