Catholic Association Of Nagaland Questions BJP's Motives Behind Church Cleanliness Drive - Eastern Mirror
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Catholic Association of Nagaland questions BJP’s motives behind church cleanliness drive

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By EMN Updated: May 03, 2024 11:34 pm

DIMAPUR — The Catholic Association of Nagaland (CAN) has released a statement expressing concern and scepticism regarding the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) proposal to conduct cleanliness drive in church compounds across the state on May 11.

“Despite desiring to view the proposal charitably, CAN cannot but question the intention of the BJP,” it said in a press release on Friday, highlighting several reasons for its apprehension.

Among others, the CAN expressed concern over the rising number of atrocities against Christians in India, with over 150 violent incidents reported in the first three months of 2024 alone.

It also noted the destruction of church properties and whole buildings in the neighbouring states of Assam and Manipur in the past one year, stating that, “It is difficult to not see a relationship between correlation and causation when the very vast majority of these cases have been in BJP-ruled states with the same party ruling the central government.”

Furthermore, with the ongoing Lok Sabha elections, “any unusual proposal by a political party bears the burden of being viewed as an election gimmick,” it said.

Stating that any plans involving another group’s property without prior consent demonstrates a lack of respect and disregard for property rights, which are recognised as a human right by the Supreme Court of India.

In this context, the CAN reiterated the apolitical nature and status of the association and the Church, called upon parish priests, heads of institutions, and the lay faithful to be “ever wary of proposals or offers, be they incitements or inducements, from political parties.”

It also urged upon BJP members of the state to earn the goodwill of the people by urging their counterparts in the rest of the country to take positive action against persecution of minorities; to bring justice to victims; and to restore and protect church properties everywhere.

Further, it appealed to all political parties and public servants to uphold the values and freedoms guaranteed by both the nation’s traditions and its Constitution.

It may be recalled that the Nagaland Baptist Church Council (NBCC) had also issued a statement on April 30, declining the BJP’s offer. While acknowledging the offer, the NBCC suggested that the BJP pursue another avenue of service and, “mobilise party members to travel to locations to safeguard persecuted churches in the mainland.”

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By EMN Updated: May 03, 2024 11:34:39 pm
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