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Nagaland not to celebrate Easter in churches for first time since statehood
Churches in Christian-majority Nagaland have decided to forego Easter celebration, that falls on April 12 during the ongoing lockdown, for the first time since the formation of the state in 1963.
Nagaland Baptist Church Council (NBCC), the largest church body in the state, has informed its associate bodies that there would be no sunrise service on Easter Sunday to prevent mass gathering of people amid the coronavirus outbreak.
"Though we will not be able to congregate to conduct public sunrise service, we call upon every family to come out of their homes from 4.45 am to 5.40 am to conduct family sunrise service in the compound of their houses," a statement issued by NBCC general secretary Zelhou Keyho on Wednesday said.
He said family sunrise service can be conducted in the porch, yard, terrace, garden or any place outside the house but within the compound.
The directive will be sent to the executive secretaries of various Baptist associations under the Council, Keyho said.
Catholic Association of Nagaland (CAN) president Johnny Raungmei said all Good Friday and Easter Sunday services have been cancelled due to the lockdown.
He said mass services will be conducted online by the catholic churches.
The World War 2 cemetery in Kohima witnesses the largest congregation of people in the state irrespective of their denominations on Easter every year. They attend the sunrise service conducted by the Kohima Baptist Pastors Fellowship (KBPF).
KBPF president Dr Kevichalie Metha said the service will not be held this year due to the lockdown.