| An image of the temple to be built in Aizawl. Telegraph picture |
Aizawl, May 13: A religious sect in Mizoram has come to believe that god has “shifted” the site of the legendary Third Temple to the Mizoram capital. According to legend, King Solomon had built the First Temple on Temple Mount in Jerusalem on the current site of the Dome of the Rock.
“For 2,000 years, believers of Christ have built temples, cathedrals and churches but not God’s temple that is worth being called Solomon’s Temple. Now, God has found a site for his temple in Mizoram,” said Dr L.B. Sailo, founder of Kohhran Thianghlim or the Holy Church, one of the many religious sects in the Christian-dominated state.
Sailo, the director of the animal husbandry and veterinary department, claimed to have received a divine calling way back in 1983 to build the temple, which will be the third temple of King Solomon. “God provided me with all the detailed architectural designs and measurements,” he claimed.
According to him, the change of site for the Holy Temple was clearly mentioned in the Old Testament. “It was foretold in the Book of Isaiah that there would be God’s ‘sought-out city’ in the region of the sunrise.” The “region of the sunrise” happens to be Mizoram and the Mizos are god’s “chosen people”, according to him.
“As the people of Israel, whom God called to build the temple, have failed him, he has chosen this small tribe in Northeast India to rebuild the temple for him,” Sailo claimed, in stark contrast to the belief of most Christians worldwide and in the state.
The sect began building the temple on December 25, 1996, setting a time frame of 20 years for its completion.
Although the sect’s membership accounts for less than one per cent of the Christian population in Mizoram, it has set a budget of Rs 1,498.19 lakh for the temple.
Counting of members is strictly prohibited in the Kohhran Thianghlim, so the exact strength of the group is not known. “Just like God did not want King David of Israel to count the number of soldiers in his kingdom, it is forbidden in the Kohhran Thianghlim to count the members,” one of them pointed out.
However, the members are truly dedicated and have been putting in all their efforts and earnings to fulfil the “divine calling”, the member said.
“Most of the funds are contributed by church members. Visitors also donate small amounts of money to the temple authority,” the member said.
High-quality marble was imported for the temple, making it the first and only temple in Mizoram with a marble structure.
The sect claims that it is being built exactly according to god’s instructions in the Bible.
“There are four towers; each tower carries a crown symbolising salvation, righteousness, life and victory. The temple has four fronts with three doors on each front, as prophesised in the Book of Revelation,” the member said.
There are two intersecting horizontal ridges crossing the middle of the pitch roof so that the ridges form a cross representing the new covenant. Standing on a hilltop, ironically called Kidron Valley, on the western outskirts of Aizawl, the temple has already become one of the most visited sites by tourists.