Christianity And Civilisation  - Eastern Mirror
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Views & Reviews

Christianity and Civilisation 

By EMN Updated: May 13, 2024 11:20 pm

Who changed your life from savage to pretty tame? Who changed your life from primitive to modern?  Who changed your life from barbarism to civilisation? Who transformed your life from tiger evil spirit to calmness spirit? Nagas have undergone an amazing metamorphosis from violent nature to peace-loving human beings because of the advent of Christianity. The advent of Christianity marks a dawn of civilisation in Nagaland. So-called advanced people were the first recipients and beneficiaries of Christianity landing in Nagaland.  Christianity and civilisation are two sides of the same coin. These two are inseparable in the history of Naga Churches. Christianity introduced us spiritual values, moral values, theological virtues like Christ-centred belief system, love, mutual respect, new human relationship, spiritual liberation, and what we are today is all because of Christianity.  Jesus came to give us a fullness of life (Matthew 10:10) is what we are experiencing today because of the civilisation brought by Christianity. When I talk about Christianity I am not against of any other religion because I am well aware that the foundation of India is laid on Secularism, Democracy and Unity in diversity. Respecting other faith is our constitutional right, duty and value. A religion that disrespects other religion is not a true religion.

Christianity is the bringer of all civilisations in Nagaland and it became a corridor to access to the whole world. Christian missionaries began introducing modern education, formal way of life, new thought process towards the traditional worldview, mutual love and understanding toward each other, a new human relationship, and establishment of schools and churches. In a nutshell, Nagas’ worldview was completely nurtured, shaped and guided by the teachings of Christianity. Onset of Christianity was an era of the beginning of civilisation and urbanisation in all spectrums. We Nagas are deeply and eternally indebted to what Christianity has immensely contributed into our life advancement. The Indian Church history says that Christians even participated in the Indian independence movement. The All India Conference of Indian Christians advocated for self-rule (swaraj), which means Indian Christians were also part of the Indian freedom movement as sons of Indian soil. Therefore, every Indian Christian has legitimate right to exist, practice, believe and adhere what they determined to. Every Indian Christian has right to speak out when their existence is being threatened, when their Christian faith is not allowed to practice. Every Indian Christian has the right to raise their voices when churches are vandalised, when Pastors, Priest and believers are being tortured, harassed, blasphemy and ousted from their habitations. Christianity is not a foreign religion; it has every right to exist and flourish in Indian soil.  Jesus Christ is not a foreign Christ, but he is Christ for all nations and Saviour of whole humanity. 

Any politicians speaking Christianity as foreign religion could be communal politicians. Any political party that draws a religious line and promotes own religion is completely against the spirit of secularism under the constitution of India. It is unethical religious eulogy. Electoral power is given not to promote own religion, but for development such as road and bridge, health sector, medical sector, educator sector, etc.

The Clean Election Movement is a social concern department under Nagaland Baptist Church Council. The NBCC-Clean Election Movement is committed to stand on Christian principles because electioneering activities have become moral and spiritual issues in our land. The vision of CEM is to elect rightful person not by money, muscle power and electoral mal practices, but by the democratic mandate of the people.  CEM is committed to raise their voices for social and political justice. They will even pinpoint the politicians if politicians continue to use electoral power to suppress and subjugate religious minority in our Country. Let us be reminded of the words of Napoleon Bonaparte and Randa Abdel-Fattah “The world suffers a lot, not because of the violence of bad people, but because of Silence of good people”,  “Bad things happen when good people remain silent”. So, social concern department like CEM under NBCC and Church Associations cannot remain silent when social injustice is visibly prevailing in our society and churches are attacked by religious fanatics in India. Church does not exist in isolation, but church exists with human beings and in human society. As long as church exists, church is bound to raise prophetic voice. Churches are to be prophetic not for self-gain but for social justice and spiritual awakening in our land.  During one chastisement the 8th Century prophet Amos declared that “but let justice roll down like waters, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream” (Amos 5:24). The deficiency of the world largest democracy in India today is religious respect. 

Christianity is not apparently being attacked in Nagaland by external adversaries, but it is already invading through religiously and philosophically modified ideological attractive programmes and activities. Nagas will consciously and unconsciously fall prey to this political ideology if we lack in Divine wisdom. Once we succumb to political ideology we will not be able to rise from it.  Under this political circumstance, the Nagas would start forgetting our God, the Lord Jesus Christ who died on the cross of Calvary, who showed the way of salvation and who brought civilisation into primitive society. Under the influence of love for money, love for political power, and in order to please political master, Nagas would start criticising and slandering Christian missionaries who introduced us to Christianity and brought us civilisation in our land. Remember the book of (Deuteronomy 8:11-20) which warns the people of Israel not to forget the Lord when their life is well settled down from wilderness to a land flowing with milk and honey. When your life is settled down well today, do not criticise Christianity, do not initiate any political programmes that hurts the sentiments of Christians in Nagaland as well. 

By adhering to any political ideology and in order to please our earthly political master we should not forget Heavenly Spiritual Master (our Lord Jesus Christ). When there is respect for other faiths, other culture and other customary law and practices, there will be a peace in our land. Instead of attacking churches, Christian schools, Colleges and Christian symbols, there must be mutual respect and also religious inter-faith dialogue in India which will create a sense of respect and belongingness. The Inter-faith Dialogue is the need of the hour in India. “Without God and the Bible, one cannot rule the world properly” by-George Washington. 

N. Tialemba Phom

Executive Secretary, PBCA

Nyengchingkong: Longleng

By EMN Updated: May 13, 2024 11:20:45 pm
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