The north-east has a distinct regional identity, as the land of seven sisters, Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Manipur, Mizoram, Nagaland, Tripura and Sikkim; and yet, has been absorbed into the social, cultural and political scheme of the secular nation since independence. The identity politics resulted in dissatisfaction on the part of the indigenous people, which generated long-term military violence in Northeast India. Today, disempowerment among indigenous groups is enormous. For early missionaries, conversion to Christianity also entailed adoption of the Western way of life. Most of the missionaries in Northeast India were American or Welsh among the Protestants and German, Spanish or Italian among the Catholics. Despite exploitation by colonialists that attempted to replace indigenous customs, revivals paved the way for renaissance for those customs. Today, Christianity is the major religion in the states of Nagaland, Mizoram and Meghalaya, with significant growth of indigenous leaders, both secular and religious. Furthermore, there is a rapid growth of educated young tribals who are qualified administrators, educators, academicians, politicians and theologians. With the effects of globalization and modernisation, Christianity must not be assumed to be an agent of acculturation but an agent that helped in the metamorphosis of indigenous norms into authentic tradition.
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