Beyond Politics, Above Discord, And Compassion In Sacred Spaces - Eastern Mirror
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Beyond Politics, Above Discord, and Compassion in Sacred Spaces

By EMN Updated: Apr 16, 2024 10:39 pm

Navigating the complex intersection of faith and political allegiance

In recent times, the landscape of social media has become inundated with a myriad of content aimed at criticising the BJP and the Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi. This surge in negative portrayal has been capitalised upon by various entities, often veiling their true political motivations under the guise of defending Christianity.

What is particularly concerning is the encroachment of this narrative into the sacred space of the Church pulpit. The sanctity of such platforms is being compromised as they’re being increasingly utilised to criticise the BJP. It is worth noting that the names of political figures like Hon’ble PM Shri Narendra Modi or Hon’ble HM Shri Amit Shah don’t find mention in the Bible. Hence, the question arises: Should the pulpit be utilised for political discourse, especially when it risks alienating members of the congregation who hold diverse political inclinations?

Come election time, there is a noticeable trend where preachers tend to incline towards political rhetoric, potentially isolating believers with differing views. This raises concerns about the role of the Church in fostering unity and focusing on fundamental Christian values such as gratitude, thankfulness, and love for one another.

The Bible teaches us the righteous virtues of gratitude, thankfulness and loving one another. Are these not the Christian values we should be embracing in our daily lives? One should be able to acknowledge and appreciate the good deeds of others. While it is valid to critique leaders for their shortcomings, it is also equally important to acknowledge their positive contributions. Despite imperfections, the Government of India, under Hon’ble PM Shri Narendra Modi, has undertaken commendable initiatives benefiting not just Nagaland but the entire nation during the last 10 years. Therefore, expressions of gratitude and appreciation shouldn’t be overlooked.

Instead of perpetuating animosity, especially during election season, I would like to suggest that the people of the State irrespective of political inclination, and the Churches in Nagaland irrespective of denomination, can bridge diversities by extending an invitation to the Hon’ble President of India, Hon’ble PM and other Central Government leaders to join the Naga people for celebrations like Easter or Christmas in our beautiful State. As the leader of the country, the Hon’ble Prime Minister is not only for one religion as many like to erroneously believe and therefore, such a gesture would underscore the inclusive nature of leadership and promote unity beyond religious diversity.

There is a video clip which has gone viral where one leader said that the Hon’ble Chief Minister of Nagaland Shri Neiphiu Rio is Judas Iscariot. It is disheartening to witness personal attacks on leaders. One should know that one cannot rewrite the Bible. Shri Neiphiu Rio is an Angami Naga leader from Tuophema Village under Kohima District of Nagaland. Today, Shri Neiphiu Rio is the tallest leader amongst the Nagas and for anyone to disprove it, they would have to cross every single milestone he has achieved in his lifelong political career. Regardless of political differences, derogatory remarks on personal lines detract from constructive dialogue and tarnish the sanctity of discourse and should be best avoided.

The pulpit of the Church should be preserved as a sacred space, free from political agendas. Each platform, whether it be the pulpit, civil society organizations, or political stages, serves distinct purposes, and their conflation only serves to muddle meaningful discourse. Instead, we should be praying for our leaders all the time.

The proliferation of unverified content on social media poses a significant challenge for the people to discern truth and fact from propaganda. All the videos and pictures from unverified and dubious, questionable sources circulating on social media are akin to false prophecies. Many of us easily and blindly believe in unverified content circulating on social media, yet, we become doubtful of losing our Christian faith – which we have been born into and brought up since our childhood – if BJP comes to power!

This is the greatest paradox we are facing today and this is being systemically and surreptitiously exploited by clandestine propaganda machineries which are working overtime to discredit our national and State leaders. It is therefore imperative for the people to exercise discernment and resist succumbing to the sinister designs of propagandists who are working hard to misguide the voters to vote for the Congress party which is fighting only for its own survival and not for leading 140 crore citizens of the country to become a world super-power.

Ultimately, as believers, let us place trust in the will and power of God in guiding the selection of our leaders. Let us endeavour to uphold the values of integrity, unity, and discernment in navigating the complex intersection of faith and politics.

Dr. Er. Vekho Swuro – A personal perspective

By EMN Updated: Apr 16, 2024 10:39:16 pm
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