30,000 members of the Christian tribe, the Kukis, have fled the state of Manipur as churches and houses burn.
Northeast India may be on the brink of civil war, according to local partners of Open Doors working on the ground in India.
Ethnic violence is escalating against the church in the Northeast Indian state of Manipur.
Since the beginning of May, 60 believers have been killed in ethnic violence committed by majority Hindu tribe, the Meitei people. Around 200 churches have been burned, over 1,000 Christian houses and institutions destroyed, and 30,000 members of the majority Christian tribe, the Kukis, have fled the region in fear of violence.
Open Doors’ local partners are in urgent need of support from the global church, both in prayer and financial donations.
“The violence that is taking place in front of our eyes is unexplainable,” says Richard*, a local believer in Manipur. “We cannot stop crying. May the LORD save His people.”
Believers have been beaten, threatened, visited by Hindu extremists, and forced to renounce their faith.
Local partners of Open Doors are on the front line, meeting peoples’ emergency needs and sharing information with the global community.
Many Kuki believers, along with facing the threat of violence, do not have food or shelter. Internet has been shut down since May 3, access to ATMs has been cut off, food supply and military trucks have been burned, and many people have suffered from mental and physical loss. Food and fuel prices have skyrocketed to four times their usual levels.
Open Doors CEO, Adam Holland said it is important that the global church speaks out.
“This incident communicates how vulnerable Christians are in India,” he said. “In most states Christians are an even smaller minority, so if Christians can be so targeted and attacked in a state like Manipur, how bad might their condition be in other states?”
Over 10,000 Christians have been moved to safer places. It might take decades for the community to establish itself and stand strong like before.
The urgent appeal launched by Open Doors will assist with not only the rapid response to this crisis but also the longer-term recovery of the region including spiritual restoration and trauma counselling.
Make your donation or find out more at https://www.opendoors.org.au/give/india-urgent-support-needed/.
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Feature image: Video screenshot, IamMitesh86, Twitter