In a historic resolution, the General Council of the Baptist World Alliance (BWA) held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, from July 4-9 affirmed support to the long protracted Naga issue and the ongoing process of Naga reconciliation. The support was one of the three resolutions adopted by the BWA from the numerous issues relating particularly to conflict devastation.
Along with the Naga issue, BWA also resolved to advocate support to the issue of ‘Conflict Minerals’ in the Eastern region of the Democratic Republic of the Congo as well as South Sudan, the newest nation.
With the affirmation, a total of 120 nations federating with BWA will now make it their focus to advocate the Naga issue to all corners of the world with prayers.
The Peace Commission of the Division of Freedom and Justice for the BWA had also endorsed the ‘Journey of Common Hope’ for Naga Reconciliation.
Addressing a press conference today at Hotel Saramati, Convener of the Forum for Naga Reconciliation Rev Dr Wati Aier, who was presented with the 2011 Baptist World Alliance (BWA) Denton and Janice Lotz Human Rights Award at the Malaysia meet, remarked that the resolution of the BWA with support from 120 nations is historic, of great significance and a great blessing. In this backdrop, he said it is very pertinent that the Naga people and leaders both underground and over-ground understand this significance.
“How Nagas translate this is very important… hope the Naga leaders take this support seriously,” he stated.
FNR member Rev VK Nuh recalled the humble beginnings of the FNR as well as the obstacles and setbacks faced on the way and said the journey has indeed been rewarding with the world now coming to support the Reconciliation process.
The BWA also affirmed the Nagaland Baptist Church Council (NBCC) and its leadership who have courageously supported the reconciliation process in calling Baptist brothers and sisters to be reconciled to one another and to adopt non-violent methods in pursuit of their goals.
The regional bodies of BWA under which 120 nations coalesce include All Africa Baptist Fellowship, Asia Pacific Baptist Federation, Caribbean Baptist Fellowship, European Baptist Federation, Union of Baptist in Latin America and North American Baptist Fellowship.
Challenge for Naga nationalists
With the BWA resolution to support the Naga reconciliation process, the Nagas, particularly the underground groups, now face a greater accountability – to show the world that the struggle is not about fratricidal killings or tussle for authority on vested and selfish motives.
Commendation from the BWA said the Naga reconciliation process should be set as an example to ‘Baptist brothers and sisters around the world who find themselves in conflict with one another.’
With the world putting the Naga reconciliation process as exemplary model for the world to follow, the FNR threw a challenge to Naga Nationalist brothers.
“Now that the challenge is upon us, are we going to be true to what they believe and what they say about us?” the FNR asked.
‘No gap in reconciliation’
THE FNR TODAY said there is no gap in the Journey of Common Hope and the reconciliation process as feared by many in the backdrop of the split of the Khaplang group into GPRN/NSCN and NSCN/GPRN (K) and the recent spurt of violence.
“Just that we are not publishing what we are actually doing…but it’s an everyday affair for us, like a full time job,” Rev Aier asserted.
While reiterating that reconciliation is a process, he went on to state that FNR is also ensuring that a measure of peace is maintained despite the split in some quarters.
The FNR convenor, moreover, said FNR is in touch with all groups and will continue to maintain the inclusive policy. “There is no pick and choose in reconciliation,” he added.
Member N Krome said one major reason why the activities and progression of FNR and the Naga political groups is not revealed to the public is because some forces within and outside the State have been viewing reconciliation as a threat. “They are trying to sabotage this process in the guise of extending support,” he stated further.