DIMAPUR, AUGUST 27 (MExN): The Ao Baptist Church Council (ABAM) today issued an appeal to all the citizens of Nagaland that, “if we were to restore our rights as citizens of India and freely exercise the freedom of religion as enshrined in the Constitution of India, let us not vote for any political party which discriminates Christians and destroys our citizens rights in the forth coming Nagaland Legislative Assembly election.”
A press note from the ABAM noted that though Nagaland is a “Christian state,” the “practices of other religious faith has not been impeded nor compelled anyone to adopt Christian faith; for faith is based on one’s free will.”
Nagaland, it said has always been a democratic state “thus making it a place where everyone enjoys one’s own citizen’s rights.” As a “Christian state,” it pointed out that the dream of the people is to make the land a land of peace and prosperity where all the citizens and visitors alike enjoy the harmonious environment.
“Christianity is all about love which overcomes all evil; it does not teach division, hatred, violence and anything that pertains to human discomfort which makes Nagaland a special and safest place to live in,” it added.
Though strictly accustomed with the ethnic traditions and cultures, the ABAM affirmed that Nagaland “faithfully adheres to the Constitution of India in which the observation of freedom of religion has been the beauty of the land.”
Comfortable practices of pluralistic religious faith indicate the respect of each individual’s will and assurance of comfortable living, it added.
It acknowledged that despite Christians making up only 2.3 percent of the population “India as a secular country has provided every right to all the citizens from the time she was called a nation.”
However it lamented that “sadly, today the so called democracy seems to be disappearing into oblivion in the country with the present plight and snubs that the minority is experiencing.”
“If the persecution of Christians rises in this excruciating rate and the Government does not curb and repudiate the present anti religious movement; shortly we may face unprecedented egregious situation which may even lead to a civil war,” it cautioned.
“Over the past few decades, under the series of leadership, so called minorities have had ample privileges in all aspects of life making India the highest Democratic country. But today, in the name of the nation’s progress and unity; anything and everything that the majority feels and anticipates is normal whereas nothing is legal for the minorities,” the ABAM claimed.
A nation, it stated, cannot make any progress at the expense of another except through mutual respect for each other. “Diseases that suppress a nation from advancement,” it pointed out are disrespect, hatred and over and above division.
It called for unity in order for development to come in the country.
“With the present scenario, where killings of Christians, burning of churches and abandoning of welfare to the Christians are all unnoticed by the Government; the minority sections are at high stake and India may soon be at the verge of division,” the ABAM cautioned.
“As good citizens of India, Christians are preoccupied by questions as to where’d the good governance and leadership gone? Where is our yesterday? What ailed the leaders who are supposed to be the answer to these present imbroglios? Can anything good come in the country when a section of people is being jeopardized?” it further noted.
Stating that alleviation of persecution is not the solution at this juncture, the ABAM rather called for “obliteration of the ongoing anti religious acts in the country.”
In light of this, it appealed to all concerned that “if there is no intervention move taken by the government in the present Christian persecution in India, be it National or State election, we will not support the party that does not bother on this issue while on power.”
The ABAM further asked the people in the state “not live in the past” but to look forward towards a productive future. “Let us support and choose God fearing leaders who understand the aspirations of the people and who can contribute selflessly towards providing stable governance,” it urged.