Church asks community to vote against \"communal force\" in poll-bound Nagaland
GUWAHATI: In what could be seen as a setback for the BJP, the Nagaland Baptist Church Council (NBCC), the apex body of Baptist churches in the poll-bound state, has asked the community to vote against the "communal forces working against Christians in India".
The NBCC’s message, which was communicated to all churches in Nagaland on Sunday, asked its members in all parts of the state to exercise judiciously their votes in the coming Assembly elections for the good of the state by choosing leaders who would listen to people and respond effectively to their anxieties and needs. The message said: "Pray that the communal forces working against Christians in India will be brought to justice."
The message, issued by NBCC general secretary Reverend Zelhou, also highlighted the "persecution of the churches and Christians in India".
The NBCC's message, the political pundits say, is aimed at Nagaland’s ruling alliance, led by the National Democratic People’s Party (NDPP) and the BJP. According to poll watchers, the message could potentially harm the ruling party's chances in the upcoming Assembly elections given the fact that 89 per cent of the state’s population is Christian, with Baptists being the most predominant group (75 per cent).
BJP spokesperson Kuputo Shohe, however, clarified that the BJP is not anti-Christian. Making such allegations against the party is not in good taste, he said, adding, "During elections, some people bring the issue of religious persecution, but the Nagaland BJP is as Christian as any other members of the community."