Post Mortem

NBCC responds to press release by CAO, UT NSCN (I-M)

By Nagaland Post | Publish Date: 12/4/2020 12:19:24 PM IST

 NBCC has come out strong against the press release given by the CAO, UT NSCN (I-M) informing “all the stores/shops and business establishments to keep their stores/shops open on all Sundays in Dimapur until further notice.” The world is going through a difficult time because of the pandemic and it has affected our normal functioning for the last nine months. We were much concern 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.

In this “new normal era,” we are supposed to be following the SOPs strictly and yet, we see that we have become very careless and indisciplined. Our streets are crowded and we see the increase of cases each day especially in Dimapur and Kohima. This is a concern that we must address rather than encouraging irresponsible behavior. If there is anything that we can do at this time, we must exhibit responsible behavior, mindful of oneself and the community. Instead of issuing strict measures, if we are to become relaxed in dealing with the situation we are facing in the name of Christmas, it goes against the true spirit of celebrating Christmas. It is against our 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. We have six days to do our business and 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.

Congregational worships may be suspended as it is now the case, but we do so because 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. There are churches that are not meeting because the community/congregation is going through a difficult time. Likewise other mass gatherings and functions of the church are discouraged. This act is not a lack of faith but an exhibition of being responsible for the community. As much as we believe that God is in control of the situation we also have our part to play in containing the spread of the virus in the community.

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. As we mourn, we are also thankful to God for listening to our prayer. We rejoice at the recovery rate in our state. But the fight is not over yet! We cannot take things for granted at this time. We must keep the faith and act responsibly.

During this difficult time let us be prayerful and keep the faith.. Let us not make Christmas shopping the reason to keep our stops/stores open for business. Let us keep our Sundays sacred and let it be more meaningful. Let Sunday be a day of worship to honor God. Let us lighten and brighten our homes and celebrate this Christmas in a meaningful way and not make shopping and entertainment our focus. The NBCC urge 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. We impress upon the government to be strict in implementing the SOPs till the fight against the pandemic is won. May you all have a blessed Christmas and may Christ be born in each one of us. Like the magi and the shepherds, may we also take a meaningful journey to worship Christ, the savior of the world.

Rev. Dr. Zelhou Keyho

General Secretary, NBCC

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