Gorkha pastors pray for ‘promised land’ | india | Hindustan Times
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Gorkha pastors pray for ‘promised land’

india Updated: Jun 22, 2008 02:25 IST
Amitava Banerjee
Amitava Banerjee
Hindustan Times
Darjeeling

They always believed that anything could be achieved through prayers. And much before the political parties took to the streets in Darjeeling, this group, unnoticed, used to congregate at St. Andrew’s Church, the oldest church of the town, to pray for peace, prosperity, unity and, of course, a separate state of Gorkhaland. They call it the “Interdenominational Warfare Prayer.”

For, it is a war against the spirit of bondage.

Pastors of different Christian denominations have been coming to this church since July 25, 2006 – much before the “We want Gorkhaland” demand once more started reverberating in the hills from endless rallies.

“We sensed that this place was in the grip of a political upheaval and decided to seek divine intervention to prevent the forces of darkness from taking over,” said Col. (retired) HK Ghising, a decorated officer who is also a Pastor.

But why Gorkhaland? “We are like the Israelites, scattered all over India. therefore, we must have our own home – the promised land,” said Col. Ghising, drawing biblical parallels.

The prayer is unique and touching. A map is spread on a table, with the pastors placing their hands on it and praying. “From August 2006, it has been the map of Bengal with us concentrating on the Darjeeling district. Now with the Gorkhaland map (introduced by the GJM) we pray over it,” he said.

“We pray that let good sense prevail among the leaders of the Central and state governments and the members of Parliament,” added the Pastor. The Pastors pray for unity of all people within the boundary of Gorkhaland, irrespective of caste, creed, religion and political affiliation.

As for the leaders, there are prayers for unity, wisdom and knowledge and blessings against greed for money and position. As for Gorkhaland, “for the protection of our land and to bind the forces of darkness in the hills and the plains.”