The Mizoram Presbyterian Church has rejected a proposal to ordain women in the church as pastors or church elders, church sources said.

Synod Executive Committee (SEC), the highest decision making body of Mizoram Presbyterian Church, decided to this effect after the issue of ordination of women was raised during the Presbytery, the second highest conference of the church recently.

Ordination of women as pastors and church elders have become one of the major issues facing the churches in Mizoram, especially the Presbyterian and the Baptist, the two largest and most powerful churches in the state which is predominantly Christian.

The SEC’s decision was taken at a meeting here on Thursday.

About 40 years ago, Saptawni, a woman, was elected as church elder by the congregation of the Presbyterian Church’s Mission Veng unit in Aizawl, but she was not ordained after the Synod refused to have her ordained.

R.L. Hnuni, principal of the Baptist Church run Aizawl Integrated Christian Studies, was also denied to be ordained as a pastor by the assembly of the Baptist Church of Mizoram (BCM) in January this year.

Dr. Hnuni was earlier recommended by the pastoral committee of the BCM to be ordained as a pastor.

Women’s committees inside the churches have been demanding gender equality inside the churches so that they could also become pastors and church elders.