Persecuted Christians in Manipur Face Dual Crisis of Violence and Floods


London:  (By Hannah Chowdhry and Juliet Chowdhry) A surge in religious extremism in Manipur, India, have led to severe religious persecution against the Kuki Christian community. Over 200 Christians have been killed, and numerous villages, houses, and churches have been destroyed, resulting in significant displacement and hardship. The violence has left around 70,000 Kuki Christians homeless and struggling for basic necessities such as food, clothing, and medicine.  Read more (here)

While the government has set up some relief camps, their capacity is limited, accommodating only about 10% of the displaced population. This has left many without adequate shelter and struggling to survive. Dr. Chongloi has emphasized the insufficiency of the government’s relief efforts and the urgent need for more substantial support.

Compounding these challenges, flash floods in the Kangpokpi (KPI) district resulted in early cancellations of relief distribution efforts by BACA (British Asian Christian Association), delaying aid by five days. During the flooding, many displaced Christians lost even more of the few possessions they had left, and a significant amount of food was wasted. The inundation caused the mobile telephone communication system to go down, leaving struggling families without contact for days, and they also had to cope with a prolonged loss of electricity.

On May 29th, despite these setbacks, BACA managed to distribute essential items such as kitchen utensils, food containers, and rice to 20 of the most needy families affected by the riots.

Mr. Thangkholun Khongsai shared his experience:

“The floods washed away and destroyed much of the food we had in our accommodation; it has been a very difficult time.

“These storage containers could have helped us preserve what we lost, but at least now we will be better protected against future floods.

“We want to thank everyone who has donated. These items are so valuable, especially since most of us do not even have an income at the moment.

“May God bless all who have come to our rescue.”

Ms. Nemchong Thangeo shared her deep gratitude:

“We lost everything when the Meitei started their attacks. We had no option but to run to a place of safety, and it was distressing.

“We joined thousands of our neighbors in traveling far away from our homes, leaving most of our possessions behind.

“The gifts of rice, utensils, and Bibles are such a blessing to us.

“We never believed we would face such a situation, but we are grateful that in our time of need, so many people are sharing love and giving support.

“We thank God that in our time of need, He is with us.”

Rev. Dr. S. Chongloi, Principal of Restoration Theological College and recently appointed Assistant Executive Secretary of Kuki Christian Church Manipur Synod in Imphal, led a solemn service to commemorate the two men killed and dismembered by Meitei militants in April. We have shared some graphic videos and images on this post (here) that vividly depict the gruesome incident. This report sheds light on the appalling depravity and violence inflicted by Hindu Meitei against Christians, resulting in 70,000 Christians seeking refuge elsewhere.

Unfortunately, the Indian government, army, and police have yet to bring the situation under control. Thousands of guns and munitions stolen from police and army stores remain unrecovered. There is a prevailing belief that the Hindu nationalist-leaning Modi government, along with the army and police, may have been complicit in the theft of these weapons due to the ease of the crime, the absence of arrests, and the perpetuation of ongoing violence.

BACA aims to continue and expand its charity efforts to provide more comprehensive support to the persecuted Kuki Christian community in Manipur. The situation remains dire, and ongoing assistance is crucial to address the endless needs of the displaced individuals. If you would like to assist some of the 70,000 displaced Christians fleeing violence in Manipur, 

Juliet Chowdhry, Trustee for the British Asian Christian Association, expressed her concerns:

“I have met several Indian Christians who have family members affected by the violence, both at a protest and a memorial service in the UK.

“They all feel great fear for those in India who are enduring intolerable persecution simply for their faith.

“It is disgraceful that BBC coverage of this violence has been minimal, and none of the other mainstream channels report on violence that has left so many people displaced and in dire poverty.

“The worst aspect of this situation is the fact that the violence has not abated but continues, as Indian authorities and peacekeepers exhibit bigotry and hatred towards Christians.

“With things the way they are, I would not be surprised if the number of displaced Christians crosses over the 80,000 mark by the end of the year.”

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