One of our front-line workers in India is once again asking for prayer for the people of Manipur.
The eastern state of Manipur has been enveloped in ethnoreligious violence since 3 May, when a peaceful Kuki student protest was attacked by Meiti fomenters who burned an important Kuki cultural site as well as numerous homes and churches. Sources report that 200-400 Christian churches, including at least two dozen Meiti churches, and some dozens of temples have been destroyed along with more than 3,500 houses. Tens of thousands have been displaced by the ongoing violence.
In a separate incident reported by our front-line worker last week. While he and several local pastors were travelling on a mission trip to share the gospel in an area where there are very few Christians. One of the team received news that some of his church members had been attacked.
Local Hindus were raising money for an idol festival – all the people in the village in Telangana state were expected to take part in the worship of the idol, but the church members refused to worship the idol or give money for the festival. When challenged by the Hindu leaders, the Christians responded publicly, “We don’t worship that deity; we go to church and believe that Jesus Christ is the true God”. Immediately they were set upon; five Christians were beaten, including the pastor’s brother, who tried to intervene. The police were called and the victims were taken to hospital. It is believed all will make a full recovery.
Although the police had investigated the incident and interviewed several witnesses, they are concerned about tensions in the community and have asked the victims not to pursue a legal case.