Wokha, 22 August (MTNews): A total of 96 churches of the Lotha Baptist Church Association (LBCA) on Tuesday organized a peace rally in regard to the ongoing LBCA imbroglio.
A short program was observed at Zero Point, Vankhosung where Rev Nyanchumo Lotha, the Executive Secretary, LBCA highlighted the aim of holding a peace rally while Rev Sankiluma Kikon, President, LBCA delivered a short speech.
During the short program, a memorandum was read out by Nongothung Kikon, secretary LBCA to the members present and the memorandum was later submitted to the Deputy Commissioner, Wokha.
The peace rally started from Zero Point Vankhosung and ended at Police Point Wokha where a mass prayer for peace within the churches and the Lotha community was held.
Earlier, interacting with the media, the LBCA Executive Secretary Rev Nyanchumo Lotha said that the peace rally was to express “untold hardship and miseries within two to three years.” He expressed that “Lothas are being misled and need to be restored and bring harmony within the Lotha community and the Baptist Churches.” The rally was to bring total transformation and restoration of LBCA, he said.
Rev Sankiluma Kikon, President LBCA also highlighted that many groups, CSOs and leaders had tried in bringing the Lotha Baptist Churches together but that it failed due to some untold factors and “misguiding the churches.” He also said that LBCA ‘R’ stands for reforming the LBCA and ‘R’ or the ‘Reformation’ is not a new LBCA but to reform all the 147 Lotha Baptist Churches that includes the “neutral churches” and the “minority party.”
He also said that a total of 104 Lotha Baptist Churches are with the Reformation while the other minority group consists of 24 churches. The other 19 churches are said to be “neutral.” He anticipated that the minority and neutral groups will come to the “mainstream” and the majority in the near future. Besides, he said that though some are willing to come, they are being misled and misguided.
While speaking on the root cause of the LBCA imbroglio, Jenibemo Kithan, youth secretary LBCA said that three to four factors lead to the chaos expressing that “Biblical error, constitutional error, infringement of the local church and regulation and governance of LBCA, which the LBCA stands to bring reformation in those areas.”
Advocate Orenvungo Humtsoe, the legal advisor to LBCA also highlighted the scenario of the LBCA case pending in the High Court, Kohima.
LBCA submits memorandum to DC Wokha
Following the “peace rally meeting” at Zero Point Vankhosung on Tuesday, the LBCA submitted a 3-point memorandum to the DC Wokha for “immediate redressal.”
The first point read, “With peaceful atmosphere restored at Vankhosung Mission Center since 18th July 2023, we demand immediate withdrawal of Sec 144 CrPC from Vankhosung jurisdiction.”
Secondly, it said the “LBCA imbroglio is an internal matter within the Lotha Baptist Churches Association. As such, we expect that no external agency (ies)/forces should interfere in the matters of the LBCA. Any interference in the affairs of the LBCA henceforth, will not be tolerated.”
In the third point, LBCA said, “We live in a democratic society where the majority voice has its say in the ruling of any establishment/institution. The minority group within the LBCA has lost its mandate, and we strongly denounce any hold/claim made by the minority group within the LBCA establishment.” It maintained that the LBCA “does not belong to any individual, church or any syndicate or self-styled group.”
“LBCA was established in 1923, and this single entity belongs to the Lotha Baptist Churches which includes the Registration of Societies Govt. Regd. No. RS 988, Dated 3.5.1986. The Lotha Baptist Community will, by all means uphold and protect this institution through democratic means, it added.
It also said that “the sole objective of the LBCA majority group is to reform the establishment that has become toxic and corrupt from within.”
“Therefore, we discourage any attempt to disrupt the present established system of the LBCA constituted by the majority Churches affiliated under LBCA. Any attempt to do so by any external agency(ies)/forces will invite strong and undesirable reactions from the LBCA,” it added.