NBCC Flay Assam CM’s Statement On Curbing Evangelism - Eastern Mirror
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NBCC flay Assam CM’s statement on curbing evangelism

By EMN Updated: Feb 23, 2024 12:05 am

DIMAPUR — The Nagaland Baptist Church Council (NBCC) has taken exception to the Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma’s statement that the Assam Healing (Prevention of Evil Practices) Bill, 2024 is intended to ‘curb evangelism’ in the state.

Earlier on Feb. 10, the Assam Cabinet approved the Bill which prescribes imprisonment and fines for engaging in illegal practices under the guise of treatment or magic healing.

“We want to curb evangelism in Assam and in this regard, the banning of healing is an important milestone,” Sarma said at the time.

In response, the NBCC, in a press release on Thursday, termed the bill, which was presented during the ongoing budget session of the Assam assembly on Feb. 21, as ‘one of the most insensitive acts of religious bigotry.’

“To ban healing in order to ‘curb evangelism’ is a direct attack on the Christian community, which is most unfortunate for a respectable leader in the region to utter it with pride and consider it ‘very important legislation,’” referring to the Assam CM’s statement.

The NBCC went on to state that it is the calling of Christians to provide care and compassion to every section of society and that this attestation can be seen in the Christian hospitals in the country and beyond, which provide affordable health care to every section of the population regardless of caste and religion.

Stating that such legislation, in any state, is not only discriminatory but also vindictive, the NBCC asserted that, “that any discriminatory statement referring to any community of faith or ethnic group in the region cannot be considered ‘important.’ Any legislation must be logical and sensitive to the diverse socio-ethnic and religious-cultural spectrum of the region.”

Emphasising the importance of respecting religious diversity and fostering mutual understanding among different religious groups for peaceful coexistence in the region, the NBCC called for deliberate conversations without any suspicion.

“Resistance through legislation or suppression targeting a particular group of religious faiths or groups would amount to a constitutional violation,” it said, adding that ‘uneasy disharmony’ would set in when cultural and religious practices are infringed upon.

“We must continue to build trust and confidence in each other, surely through proper conversation,” it said.

Further, the NBCC also observed Christians in the north-east region are beginning to feel a wave of “superiority complex and tactics to suppress the minority religious group in the country.”

The matter is made worse when educational institutions are targeted by those who think they have the backing of those in authority, it claimed, while emphasising that the contributions made by educational institutions run by the church must be acknowledged instead of being taken as a threat.

Additionally, the NBCC highlighted the interconnectedness of the north-east region, and stated that, “when insecurity is created in Assam, the negative reaction will be felt all over the region.”

“Let us appreciate the diversity of religious practices that have existed for many centuries,” it added.

By EMN Updated: Feb 23, 2024 12:05:44 am
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