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Religious Violence In India’s Manipur State Continues Unabated

by | Fri, Jun 2 2023

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A wave of anti-Christian violence is continuing unabated in the remote state of Manipur in northeast India.

That’s according to local believers who contacted Premier Christian News.

They reported that villages and churches of Christian hill tribes are still being burned down.

Many fear for their lives and hide in the jungle at night.

The majority Hindu community is believed to be behind the attacks which were sparked by a hill tribes protest against plans to give Hindus special benefits.

At least 75 Christians have been killed with up to 300 churches and 1,000 homes destroyed in recent weeks

50,000 believers have been displaced and forced into camps.

India’s Home Minister Amit Shah has been visiting the state this week to evaluate Manipur’s deteriorating security landscape.

It’s reported that as many as 40 militants from the Kuki tribe have been killed since the minister’s arrival.

The Christian Post writes that Mr. Shah’s response to the crisis will have profound implications for India’s ruling BJP Hindu nationalist party and the state of Manipur.

It reports the situation remains volatile with incidents of violence involving guns being reported daily.

Land ownership disputes and affirmative action policies have historically strained relations between the mostly Hindu Meiteis and the mostly Christian tribal communities. Tensions escalated when tribal settlements were reclassified as reserved forests, essentially treating the tribal people as illegal immigrants.

Manipur’s highest court recently directed the government to consider the Meiteis’ plea for recognition as a tribal group with entitlement to special government benefits. This prompted a protest from a tribal student group which triggered the rampant violence.

The Meiteis have historically exerted dominance in the state’s political and economic spheres.

The Open Doors ministry for the persecuted church is providing support to Christians caught up in the violence.

One of its partners warns that: “If the situation continues, civil war is inevitable. More lives will be lost, more properties destroyed and more religious minorities persecuted.”