Manipur Violence May 2023 and Joint Appeal for Relief by CBCNEI, MBC, and IMCC
June 9, 2023
I have been in touch with our partners in India following the situation in Manipur and providing relief assistance since the riots on May 4. Our partners the Council of Baptist Churches in North East India (CBCNEI), the Manipur Baptist Convention MBC), and the India Mission Coordination Committee (IMCC) sent us the following Appeal. Please share the words and prayer requests.
To The International Ministries, American Baptist Churches USA
Dear Rev. Dr. Benjamin Chan,
Greetings from India in the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
As you may be aware the recent violence in the State of Manipur in India on May 4, 2023, onward has left severe loss of lives, properties, and destruction of sanctuaries across the state of Manipur. Manipur Chief Minister Mr. Biren Singh on May 8 announced that 60 people were killed, 231 injured and over 35,000 people have been displaced. The Security Advisor to Manipur Government Mr. Kuldeep Singh on May 13 informed that the death toll is raised to 71 people and according to public media reports 1700 houses have been burned with approximately 45,000 people have been transported to different places. Supplement reports received from the churches that 333 churches and many Christian institutions also have been burned down during this violence. While the violence and burning continue in some parts of Manipur, today as on June 9, 2023, while compiling this report the public media mentions about at least 100 people have been killed during the recent violence. The Ministry of Home Affairs of the Government of India has appointed the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to investigate over criminal cases behind ethnic violence.
The causes behind the present Manipur violence have been reflected by different independent sources;
(1) Is due to an over 10-year-old demand by the Meitei community for a Scheduled Tribe tag, and a Manipur High Court order directing the state government to recommend to the Union Tribal Affairs Ministry by May 29, an ST tag for the community1. (2) The disputes over land and illegal immigration have been the primary root of tensions that have existed for decades2. (3) Rapid Christianization of the tribal population of Manipur has contributed to the socio-cultural gap between the two groups in the state2.
While the people in the state of Manipur are mourning the severe loss and going through unmeasurable difficulties with food, clothing, shelter, and sanitation remains great challenges with women, elderly folks and infants suffering the most. The churches and humanitarian organizations in India have responded to the immediate need to take care of the displaced persons in the camps. The Council of Baptist Churches in North East India (CBCNEI) along with its member bodies, the India Mission Coordination Committee (IMCC) in partnership with Manipur Baptist Convention are providing to 25,983 people in 104 relief camps. The CBCNEI has further worked with the Baptist Church of Mizoram in reaching out to the people in need in Churachandpur district in Manipur which is on the border of the state of Mizoram. There many areas are still unreachable due to the ongoing tension and occasional clashes as reported from time to time as reported by the leaders of the Manipur Baptist Convention.
While the severity of the damages may take several years to repair; the Churches in India are committed to responding to the immediate humanitarian needs to save people from hunger, clothe the homeless, and care for their elderly, infants, and sick. We extend this appeal to our partner International Ministries and the American Baptist Churches in the USA to strengthen our hands in providing to the suffering people of Manipur.
With many prayers on behalf of the people of Manipur
CBCNEI MBC IMCC