DIMAPUR, DECEMBER 4: The Nagaland Baptist Church Council (NBCC) has come out against the NSCN (IM) for directing shops and business establishments to keep open on all Sundays in Dimapur.
The NBCC said the world is going through a difficult time because of the pandemic and it has affected our normal functioning for the last 9 months. “We were much concerned about the further spread of the virus in the community and for that reason, our schools were closed down and congregational worships were suspended to protect the community, it said.
It said in this “new normal era”, everyone is supposed to follow the SOPs strictly but people have become very careless and indisciplined. Stating that the streets are crowded and there is increase of cases each day, especially at Dimapur and Kohima, the NBCC said, “If there is anything that we can do at this time, we must exhibit responsible behavior, mindful of oneself and the community”.
The NBCC said it is against the Christian principle to encourage people to do business on the day of worship. “Let us be mindful that Christmas is not about shopping and entertainment. It is about worship and to be thankful to God for what he has done for us through the birth of His son,” it added.
Stating that there are 6 days to do our business, the NBCC said to urge shops/stores and business establishments to stay open on the day of worship do not go well with the Christian spirit of celebrating Christmas.
In a press release, NBCC general secretary, Rev Dr Zelhou Keyho said congregational worships may be suspended as it is now the case, but it is done as we want to be responsible in protecting the community. Churches conducting congregational worship are strictly following the SOPs bringing down the congregational gathering to 30% sitting capacity of the church, it said.
“In the era of social distancing, our streets are crowded and we are seeing more and more irresponsible behavior. At this juncture, we must remind ourselves that countries are going through the second wave and once again returning to lockdown. We mourn with the families who have lost their loved ones to the sickness and we pray for them,” the NBCC stated.
The NBCC further urged not to make Christmas shopping the reason to keep the shops/stores open for business but keep the Sundays sacred and more meaningful.
The NBCC urged the Government of Nagaland and the district administrations to respect the sentiments of the Church not only during this season but also throughout the year to keep our Sundays as a day of worship and not as a day of business. It impressed upon the Government to be strict in implementing the SOPs till the fight against the pandemic is won.
(Page News Service)