Saturday, December 03, 2022

NBCC opposes NSCN (IM) move to allow Sunday shopping

By EMN Updated: Dec 04, 2020 5:34 pm

Dimapur, Dec. 4 (EMN): The Nagaland Baptist Church Council (NBCC) has objected to the NSCN (IM) permitting business establishments in Dimapur to open on Sundays.

In a statement issued on Friday, the NBCC cited two reasons — the ongoing pandemic and Christian principle — to prop its objection.

On December 3, the ‘caretaker CAO’ of UT NSCN (IM) had all business establishments to keep their stores open on all Sundays in Dimapur from December 6 ‘in view of the forthcoming festive season of Christmas and New Year’.

However, this directive has drawn a sharp riposte from NBCC, who stated that ‘Christmas is not about shopping and entertainment’ and it is the responsibility of all to curb the spread of Covid-19.

“In this ‘new normal era’, we are supposed to be following the SOPs strictly and yet, we see that we have become very careless and undisciplined. Our streets are crowded and we see the increase of cases each day, especially in Dimapur and Kohima. This is a concern that we must address rather than encouraging irresponsible behaviour. If there is anything that we can do at this time, we must exhibit responsible behaviour, mindful of oneself and the community.

“Instead of issuing strict measures, if we are to become relaxed in dealing with the situation we are facing in the name of Christmas, it goes against the true spirit of celebrating Christmas. It is against our Christian principle to encourage people to do business on the day of worship. Let us be mindful that Christmas is not about shopping and entertainment. It is about worship and to be thankful to God for what he has done for us through the birth of His son. We have six days to do our business and to urge shops/stores and business establishments to stay open on the day of worship do not go well with the Christian spirit of celebrating Christmas,” read the statement.

According to the council, churches conducting congregational worships are strictly following the SOPs, reducing the gathering to 30% of the sitting capacity.

“There are churches that are not meeting because the community/congregation is going through a difficult time. Likewise, other mass gatherings and functions of the church are discouraged. This act is not a lack of faith but an exhibition of being responsible for the community. As much as we believe that God is in control of the situation, we also have our part to play in containing the spread of the virus in the community.

“In the era of social distancing, our streets are crowded and we are seeing more and more irresponsible behaviour. At this juncture, we must remind ourselves that countries are going through the second wave and once again returning to lockdown. We mourn with the families who have lost their loved ones to the sickness and we pray for them,” it stated.

Against this backdrop, the NBCC appealed not to make Christmas shopping the reason to keep stops/stores open for business.

“The NBCC urge the government of Nagaland and the district administrations to respect the sentiments of the church not only during this season but also throughout the year to keep our Sundays as a day of worship and not as a day of business. We impress upon the government to be strict in implementing the SOPs till the fight against the pandemic is won,” it added.

By EMN Updated: Dec 04, 2020 5:34:01 pm