Kohima: Good Friday, which marks the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, was observed in the Christian- dominated state of Nagaland with people fasting and attending special services in churches by following COVID-19 safety norms.

The northeastern state had for the first time, since the formation of the state in 1963, foregone Easter celebration last year due to COVID-19 lockdown.

Believers thronged churches for the morning prayer service, wearing masks and maintaining social distancing, with the government allowing places of worship to function.

The Nagaland home department in a notification last week had sought enforcement of the existing guidelines and SOPs for preventing the spread of COVID-19 during Good Friday, Easter and other festivals.

At the St Francis De Sales (SFS) church in Kohima, Father Lawrence Khing reflected saying: “Essence of God in the person of Jesus Christ did not make sense to many people” as people are often blinded by selfishness. 

According to him, Good Friday has a sorrowful purpose and the greatest purpose is to save humanity from sin. He said that love for humanity cost Jesus his life and his death is not a simple death as it changed the course of humanity for those who believed in him. 

The crucifix of Christ being covered during the Good Friday service at St Francis De Sales Church Kohima on Friday. | PC: EastMojo image

Jesus death is a paradox which we cannot be fully understand, he added.

The priest expressed belief that in Jesus death, life has conquered death. He added that Good Friday is a reminder to open one’s whole being to Jesus. He also encouraged faithful’s to denounce self-righteousness and self-justification which are the two greatest sin of today’s generation.

Also Read | Mizoram observes Good Friday with religious fervour

To mark the occasion, Nagaland Governor R N Ravi and Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio have extended greetings to people.

“The essence of Good Friday is the victory of good over evil. Truth, non-violence, love, forgiveness and grace are some of the significant attributes of Jesus Christ,” the governor said in a message.

He called upon the people, especially the youth, to reflect and imbibe these essential virtues.

The governor also appealed to the citizens to follow COVID-19 protocols at all times.

“On #GoodFriday, we remember the ultimate sacrifice of Jesus Christ and His unconditional love for us. Light conquered darkness and goodness conquered sin. May #GoodFriday2021 bring new meaning and change in our lives.

Wishing all Christians a blessed Good Friday,” the chief minister tweeted.

Meanwhile, in view of the pandemic, the Kohima Baptist Pastors Fellowship (KBPF) has cancelled mass Easter Sunrise Service at the picturesque World War-II Cemetery.

The KBPF has requested only pastors to represent their churches at NSF Solidarity Park by following COVID-19 protocols.

With inputs from PTI

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