Nagaland: Church condemns PM's call for cleanliness drive on Sunday
Prime Minister Narendra Modi

Kohima: Following Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s clarion call to conduct a nationwide cleanliness drive on October 1 (Sunday), several sections of the society in the Christian-majority state of Nagaland expressed disappointment.

The Chakhesang Baptist Church Council (CBCC) said that Sunday is a day of rest and worship for the Christians. “We laud the Government of India for any good initiatives but abhor the communal attitude at the Centre for constant intentional target against Christian faith and other minority communities! We must learn to live together as fellow-human beings with mutual respect for one another by keeping the fabric of secularism in the country,” CBCC said.

While cleanliness is an ideal that all must advocate regardless of religions, they said that “Cleanliness is not above godliness!”

The CBCC called upon the Church Associations and local churches in Nagaland to
boycott the proposed social work on Sunday by instructing their respective members to abstain from the said work as a sign of their resentment against the Government of India for its repeated attempt to disrupt Christian faith and practices in the country.

The church also appealed to the frontal organizations under its jurisdiction and Christian leaders in general to stand together as Christians in defense of their faith.

“We cannot violate the decree of the living God to keep the Sabbath day/Sunday holy. We must obey God rather than human beings,” they quoted from the Bible.

Likewise, the Naga Students’ Federation (NSF) also urged church bodies to boycott the nationwide cleanliness drive on October 1.

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We emphasize that adherence to religious beliefs should not be compromised, and calls for a resolution that respects the religious convictions of all citizens and fosters peace in the Indian sub-continent.

“The Naga Students’ Federation remains committed to protecting the rights and religious freedoms of all communities in the Naga homeland and in the wider Indian society,” NSF president Medovi Rhi and general secretary Chumben Khuvung said.

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