NBCC asserts: No working day on Christian Holy Days

Calls out Nagaland University’s cancelled working day notification

Kohima, April 1 (MExN): The Nagaland Baptist Church Council (NBCC) today strongly reacted to a notification purportedly issued by the Nagaland University (NU) declaring Good Friday and Easter Sunday notification.

The notification created a stir and though it was revoked, the damage has been done and it has opened a ‘window of suspicion,’ it said. 

According to the NBCC, the incident has compelled the Council to put in record that “we can never allow such thing to happen on Christian Holy days.”

While appreciating the cancellation, the Council said that it is responding to let the university know that such things will “never be allowed in a Christian-majority society.”

“It is nothing short of testing the patience and emotion of the Christian community. Our immediate reaction is one of frustration where, even during the Holy Week our minds were disturbed,” maintained an unusually strong-worded press release issued by Rev Dr Zelhou Keyho, General Secretary, NBCC.

The Council noted that Christians in the nation are cornered from all angles. 

“Churches are demolished, and now Christians cannot even worship peacefully though we call ourselves a secular country,” and there is also a move to “remove all faith related symbols in our institutions,” it stated. 

“All these points to the insecurity of the majority. The little good we have done are all forgotten and Christians are scapegoated as if we are the reason for taking the nation backward,” it asserted, while calling for guarding against the forces that are “working against us.”

The NBCC also deemed the NU’s notification as a “test” and stated that it “came from a higher authority though that was not mentioned in the text.”

“These are all a ploy to corner us slowly. They want to take away our Christmas celebration and now our Good Friday and our Resurrection Sunday to make it a working day on the pretext that it is the Financial Year. Excuse after excuse will be formulated now and in the future to curtail our religious freedom and rights. But this, we cannot allow,” the Council asserted. 

Wondering what the next excuse would be, the NBCC stated that divisive elements must not be allowed in ‘our backyard’ alleging that their only motive is to “subjugate us to change our color and the fabrics of our lives into something which we never was.”

This time it was the university, a place of learning, next it could be any department forcing the majority Christian employees to work on Sundays, on our holy days and so forth, it added. 

The NBCC also wondered what one could expect next, if university fails to foster education and promote social-religious harmony and civility, questioning its leadership “attitude is to create animosity among the people.”

“A university like Nagaland University should not be used as a den of creating hatred and a centre of religious propaganda and dominance. It is now high time to do away with the so called ‘central’ mentality,” it added. 

The leadership comes with ‘responsibility to be sensitive and mindful of others,’ it said. 

“Lack of sensitivity and dominant mentality has hurt not only the Christian community but other religious and social minorities in the country. Nagaland is a state dominated by Christians whose loyalty is demanded on their Holy days,” it pointed out.

Accordingly, the NBBC stated that its statement should be taken as “warning for the future” while reminding that one “must exercise precaution and apply wisdom and know where one is placed.”

“Young minds cannot be shaped if the university leadership is insensitive and lack wisdom. Education institution should stay away from disseminating communal politics. It should not be used as an agent in venting out religious propaganda of dominance,” it added. 

The NBCC also pointed out that Christian majority society in Nagaland has had been accommodative to every religion and it also expect the same from other religious community. 

“We must learn to respect each other to build a harmonious society in a world that is already torn apart.”

“The bad politics of hatred and dominance have done much damage to our country... Our allegiance and expression of faith are different but we can develop a harmonious society by minimising frictions through respect and sensitivity,” it added. 

To this end, the NBCC further asserted that “Good Friday will be Good Friday for us. Resurrection Sunday will be Resurrection Sunday for us. Christmas Day will be Christmas for us. No matter on which day it falls.”

“Sunday will be Sunday for us. Choose your day and the Christians majority state will show respect,” it added.