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Insensitive acts of religious bigotry: NBCC on Assam Healing (Prevention of Evil) Practices Bill

Nagaland News

DIMAPUR, FEBRUARY 22: Nagaland Baptist Church Council (NBCC) has described the Assam Healing (Prevention of Evil) Practices Bill, 2024 ~ an “important legislation”, according to Assam Chief Minister Dr. Himanta Biswa Sharma ~ as one of the most insensitive acts of religious bigotry.
“If maintaining the status quo is the order of the day, targeting a certain religious group is most unfortunate. Over and over again, Christians in the country are accused of using its activities for the purpose of inducing unwilling converts into their fold. It is unfortunate that such a statement is uttered by a respectable personality, who is looked up to, to pull the region together on all fronts”, read a statement issued by NBCC on Thursday.
It stated that accusing Christians’ healing ministry to be a means of converting the tribals is discriminatory in nature. “If what is done to serve humanity is considered a threat to others, how do we co-exist peacefully in our diversity?” it questioned.
According to the Council, it has been the calling of Christians to provide care and compassion to every section of society. “This attestation can be seen in the Christian hospitals in the country and beyond, which provide affordable healthcare to every section of the population regardless of caste and religion. Therefore, to come up with such legislation in any State is not only discriminatory but also vindictive”, it asserted.
The NBCC asserted that any discriminatory statement referring to any community of faith or ethnic group in the region cannot be considered “important”. Any legislation must be logical and sensitive to the diverse socio-ethnic and religious-cultural spectrum of the region, it maintained.
“There is an uneasy feeling of superiority complex and tactics to suppress the minority religious group in the country. Christians are beginning to feel this wave in the region lately. The matter is made worse when educational institutions are targeted by those who think they have the backing of those in authority. This is unfortunate; the region must be grateful to the educational institutions run by the church.
“In many ways, we are what we are today because of these institutions. One can imagine what we would be like had there been no such dedicated institutions in this most neglected part of the country. The contributions the church has made must be acknowledged rather than taken as a threat”, the statement read.
It also pointed out the leadership role played by Assam in the Northeast. “The State of Assam has been, in fact, like the big brother in many ways for the region. Assam is the face of North East India. Smaller States in the region look up to Assam like its big brother. When insecurity is created in Assam, the negative reaction will be felt all over the region”, it reminded.
According to the NBCC, Assam can lead the way in building confidence among the religious minority with respect. “Let us appreciate the diversity of religious practices that have existed for many centuries”, it stated.
(Page News Service)