In Manipur, India, violence and persecution have plagued the region for almost four months. The conflict started with a peaceful protest over land rights and jobs and has since turned into a series of disturbing incidents.
The Meiteis, a predominantly Hindu tribal group, are accused of targeting Kuki Christians.
To curb the violence, internet services in Kuki areas have been mostly cut off, making it challenging to assess the full extent of the situation. Tens of thousands of people have been forced to leave their homes, and hundreds of houses, churches, and religious colleges have been looted and set on fire.
In the last 72 hours, continuous gun battles between Kukis and Meiteis have led to at least eight deaths and 18 injuries, including two security personnel. The sporadic gunfire continues to disrupt the lives of innocent civilians.
Critics blame the Indian government for not taking adequate action to address the issue. A coalition of opposition groups recently forced a vote of no confidence against Prime Minister Narendra Modi, though he survived.
The international community has taken notice, with London and Washington expressing concerns. A meeting is scheduled in the UK Parliament later this month to discuss potential solutions and ways to help affected communities.
This situation in Manipur parallels similar violence against Christians in Pakistan, where harsh blasphemy laws have been used to justify attacks. In response, the British Asian Christian Association is raising funds to assist those affected by the Manipur crisis. They are also urging people to join a peaceful protest in London next week, with a call for unity: “This united effort, driven by the desire for justice and equality, aims to highlight the discrimination faced by Christians in the region.”
The association welcomes people of all faiths or no faith who have been moved by the recent attacks to come together and demand change.
In a statement, the British Asian Christian Association stressed the importance of solidarity, saying, “This is not just a Christian issue; it’s a human rights issue. We stand together against violence and persecution and call on governments and leaders worldwide to take immediate action to protect the lives and dignity of those affected.”
The situation in Manipur is a grave humanitarian crisis that needs immediate attention and international intervention. As the British Asian Christian Association rallies support and calls for peaceful protests, the hope is that international pressure will prompt the Indian government to take swift and effective action to restore peace and protect the rights and lives of all its citizens, regardless of their faith or ethnicity.
The call for peace in Manipur resonates globally as communities, advocates, and concerned individuals unite to end the violence and persecution that have plagued the region for far too long.