Rev. Dr. Zelhou Keyho
General Secretary, NBCC
I write this letter on behalf of the Nagaland Baptist Church Council, the apex body of the Baptist congregation and on behalf of many believers who are praying for you yet are not able to convey their heartfelt feelings and burden. I am certain that you are fully aware that you have been prayed for by people who visited you as you gear up yourself for the coming State Assembly Election. On the other hand, I also believe that you are now sure you have been called to enter into politics to work for the welfare of the people.
What I write to you is neither a revelation nor a prophesy of which our people are fond of. But I believe that God has placed this burden in me that I should write to you so that you will be aware of what might happen if that is you are not on your guard.
We cannot deny that the hindutva movement in the country has become unprecedentedly strong and invasive in the last few years. This fact cannot be denied no matter how hard you try to convince the innocents. You also cannot deny that the party in power at the centre is working tooth and nail to make its presence known and seen in Nagaland, the frontline of the Christian majority state in the country. Have you ever seriously questioned their intention? If you have not, do not be fooled.
Our people are fond of propaganda and because of this we often miss the reality go unnoticed. But India has experienced worst persecution ever in 2015-2017. You will be fully aware that persecutions have been tripled in recent years. Pastors, evangelists and missionaries are dragged openly in the streets, harassed and insulted and many made to suffer. Their homes destroyed and children discriminated in schools. Worship places were burnt down and believers are often disturbed and harassed. The Bible is openly burnt and confiscated. In the past 3 years many of NBCC Church partner leaders from abroad were denied visas and barred from entering India. The most recent happening is the refusal of visa for the Baptist World Alliance President, Rev. Dr. Paul Msiza, whose entry was denied to visit NE India and this happened just yesterday. It pains us that we are closely watched and followed. Do you know that our own missionaries cannot preach or visit homes openly as they use to before BJP came to power? Take time to call one of them and they will tell you.
God must be weeping when Naga politicians are running after those who seek to destroy Christianity in India and in our land. You will remember well the Australian missionary, Graham Staines, who along with his two sons Philip (aged 10) and Timothy (aged 6) were burnt alive to death in their car by a gang of Hindu Bajrang Dal in Manoharpur village in Kendujhar district in Odisha on 23 January 1999. What will become of us and the Christians in India should the Christian politicians easily embrace the political ideologies of those who seek to destroy the Christian faith in India? What justification will your party give? Cannot we say, take everything from us but leave Jesus in Nagaland? Is your political party willing the sell Jesus for the sake of development? Do you remember what they tried to do with our Christmas and Good Friday?
Let us not blame each other and try to make false promises. It is not the Central Government’s fault for the situation in which we find ourselves today. It is simple, they are not interested in us no matter how hard they try to convince you. They will only be happy if they can insult us over and over again. We urge you not to use the Central Government interest to develop the Nagas as your party manifesto, they will not! We can develop ourselves if that is, we can say enough is enough! Even for that matter, leave the Naga political solution alone and let it flourish in its own pace. If it were possible, it would have happened long time ago. Let us not blame the congress or any address in Delhi, the issue is down here in Nagaland. But I believe God is not done yet with the Nagas and when the time comes India will not be able to do anything.
Dear Sir, if you believe that God has raised you to be a politician for the Naga people, fear God and no other thing. But if you are trying to do it yourself for some other reasons you cannot run away from God now or later. God exists and he will never let things go our way if we misuse his name as Christians.
May I also impress upon you as a leader that running for political office for development is only half of your task. The other half is to protect and safeguard your faith and the principles which your people hold dear. Development is not everything but when we put our house in order development and others will follow.
Why has political affiliation become your priority? Is it because you cannot become a politician without the interference from outside? This aspect has confused our people. They are made to fight without knowing anything that is happening. Leaders are often blamed yet they escape because our people have set our priority wrong. Therefore, as responsible leader of a party, I request you to control your party from confusing the public. If you fail in this, you will be failing not only yourself as a leader but the whole Nagas.
There are so many things I wanted to write but will not be able to do so at this time. However, this one thing I must tell you: Nagaland is a Christian majority state in the country and though we have failed in our testimony time and over again, you have the opportunity in your hand as a leader to show distinction. Do not surrender your Christian
Principles and above all your faith for the sake of money and development into the hands of those who seek to pierce the heart of Jesus Christ to bleed and allow God to weep.
I pray that as you read this letter the spirit of God will minister to you. It pains us to see that our people seemed to have forsaken God and have gone astray in our own selfishness. In NBCC 21st Triennial Convention held at Impur, Mokokchung from Feb 2-4, 2018, the congregation along with their leaders prayed for you in tears. We can only pronounce God’s blessing to you and leave you in His Mighty Hand, so that His wisdom will prevail in your leadership.
“Let us not be deceived: God cannot be mocked” (Galatians 6:7).
Sincerely in Christ,
(This write up is an edited and abridged version of a letter which has been dispatched to all the President of the political parties in Nagaland on February 9, 2018 from NBCC Office.)