NATIONAL

Row over Mizos' origins

AIZAWL: The news of orthodox Jews in Israel accepting Mizos as the descendants of Manashe, one of the 10 lost tribes of Israel, has created a controversy in Mizoram.

The orthodox Christians believe this would lead to the Mizos going away from their adopted religion of Christianity.

Mizos were declared descendants of the Manashe tribe by the Chief Rabbi of the Sephardic Rabbinacal Court Schlomo Aram on March 30.

P.C. Biaksiama, a former Central Government officer, who resigned his job to take up Christian research work, has said this was the ``work of Satan with the aim of converting the Mizos from Christianity to Judaism, the religion of Jews.''

Dr. Biaksiama had opposed the Chhinlung Israel People's Convention, which also believed the Mizos to be descendants of one of the 10 lost tribes of Biblical Israel.

During 732 and 722 BC, the King of Assyria had invaded Palestine, occupied by the Israelites and taken 10 of the 12 tribes into slavery to his country. Only the tribes of Benjamin and Judah remained in the Holy Land. After being taken into slavery, the history of these 10 tribes was lost track of.

Modern Israel, after gaining independence in 1948, started searching for the descendants of these tribes.

It is now believed that with the identification of the Mizos as Bne'i Manashe (sons of Manashe), all the lost tribes have been accounted for.

The Mizos were converted to Christianity by Welsh protestant missionaries, who came to Mizoram in 1894. — UNI

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