News India | 21-5-2023

‘Most believers are in trauma’: 60+ Christians killed in Manipur, India


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“It is very hard to explain the situation of our land. I believe God is protecting us and will protect. Most believers are in trauma.”
—Kuber*, an Indian Christian from the Kuki tribe

“The violence that is taking place in front of our eyes is unexplainable. We cannot stop crying. May the LORD save His people.”
—Richard*, an Indian Christian from the Meitei people group

The obvious violence in Manipur has drawn to a close. Things seem calm. But it might be a mistake to think that peace has come to this state in the northeast of India. Open Doors partners on the ground even say this region is “on the brink of civil war.”

Our Open Doors field team has spent the past weeks talking with our local partners in Manipur, and they answered some of these vital questions:
What’s the current situation?
It is not safe for outsiders to enter the affected areas; people who are able to are able to fly out of the area are taking refuge in the border states of Manipur.

Many people suffered loss of life and loss of property. People do not have food, shelter are still facing threats and physical violence. The internet has been shut down since May 3 and still hasn’t been restored. Access to ATMs has been cut off. Food and fuel prices are also four times higher. Food supplies and military trucks were burned, and many people have suffered from mental and physical losses.
What does the future look like for Manipur—and for the Christians there?
Open Doors’ local partners believe things will get worse. Some say a civil war might break out. Christians in Manipur are expected to face more persecution through forced conversion, physical violence and loss of life. There is also fear that the violence will spread to surrounding states.
Why is it important for the global body of Christ to act now?
This is much more than an ethnic clash. Manipur is known for its large Christian population and strong church groups. They are discouraged and have lost almost everything they have owned and worked for.

As of latest field reporting, over 230 churches have been burned, over 1,000 Christian houses and institutions have been destroyed, and over 60 people have died. More than 10,000 Christians have been moved to safer places. It might take decades for the community to re-establish itself and stand as strong as it did before the violence.

This incident also shows how vulnerable Christians are in India; in most [of the country’s] states, Christians represent an even smaller minority. So if Christians can be targeted and attacked [like this] in a state like Manipur, how bad might their condition be in other states?
How are we helping now, and how do we plan to help?
Currently, Open Doors local partners are on the ground in Northeast India, giving urgent aid and practical help—such as meals and relief packs—to affected believers from both the Kuki and Meitei sides.

As of now, Open Doors local partners in India have identified six locations that need urgent aid. It is important to meet their urgent practical needs now.

We also need to help them with the long-term practical and spiritual needs. We need to act now so that this once strong Christian community, which was a beacon of hope to Christians throughout the country, can rise again.

Want to know more about what led to this violence?

*Name changed for security reasons
please pray
  • Ask God to help the victims of the attacks, that He would rebuild the church in Manipur and that His people would be strengthened.
  • Pray that God would calm the hearts of Christians who may want to fight back with violence. Ask Him to reassure them that vengeance is His.
  • Pray for peace to break out—and that the presence of Christians in Manipur would be a blessing to both Hindu and Christian and would contribute to the growth of God’s people.
  • Pray for God to change the hearts of the extremists who are targeting Christians. Ask Him to reveal the truth to them and that they would somehow see the love of Jesus in this situation, and turn to Him.
please give
Today, will you help your Indian brothers and sisters as they face a new crisis?
  • Every HK$170 could provide emergency food and aid for a believer in India affected by violent persecution.
  • Every HK$500 could help provide shelter for a believer displaced by violent persecution.
*Any excess funds from one-time donations for this appeal will be used to support persecuted Christians where the need is greatest. All funds from monthly donations will go to where most needed.

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