India: Dramatic escalation of violence in Manipur, 58 dead, 50 churches burned

Tuesday, May 9, 2023 | Tag Cloud Tags: , , ,

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by Karen Faulkner, Worthy News Correspondent

(Worthy News) – Christian leaders in India’s Manipur state have accused the Hindu nationalist government of supporting the violent attacks carried out by ethnic Hindu Meitei rioters, which began last week, and which have now resulted in the destruction of 50 churches and the deaths of 58 people, many of whom were Christians, the Christian Post (CP) reports.

The violence in Manipur broke out last Wednesday, primarily in the Imphal Valley and Churachandpur areas, CP reports. Christians have reported the attacks are being carried out by members of the Hindu Meitei ethnic community, the largest population group in the state.

“The Meiteis have experienced longstanding tensions with Christians, who are mostly from tribal communities, over land ownership and affirmative action policies,” CP explained in its report. “It’s not known how many of those killed are Christians, but reports coming from Manipur suggest the majority of them could be Christian.”

Nearly 10,000 Indian military troops were sent out to deal with the violence – although, as of Thursday last week, Christians were being attacked in the street in the presence of police, CP reports.

Thousands of people have had to flee their homes in Manipur, with many seeking refuge in neighboring Indian states, including Mizoram, Meghalaya, and Nagaland, where Christians are the majority population, CP said.

Ruled by the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party since 2014, India ranks 11th on the US Open Doors World Watch List 2023 of the top 50 countries where Christians are persecuted.

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