Posted on June 21, 2023 Pray for and extend help to Kuki people in Manipur, NE India

Pray for and extend help to Kuki people in Manipur, NE India

Benjamin Chan

May 21, 2023



International Ministries (IM) hosted the visit of Rev. Dr. M. Thongkhosei Haokip, General Secretary of the Kuki Baptist Convention (KBC), Manipur, NE India, and his wife Mrs. TS Lamkhochin Haokip in Valley Forge area the week of May 16, 2023. I have worked with Rev. Haokip on this visit for several months, but it is not an easy time for him to leave his people after the Manipur riots broke out on May 4. (Refer to related postings: Pray for Manipur, NE India in; and Mobilize Manipur Relief and Prayer Rally for Peaceful Solution in “We rushed to leave the village bringing very few belongings, and helped settling our family and villagers in safe places. We did not expect such violence would happen, and our (Kuki) people are in great panic seeing mobs lotting and setting fire to our houses and churches, and beating up and killing our friends, brothers and sisters.” Rev. and Mrs. Haokip recalled their painful experience. Rev. Haokip continues, “I was working on the rescue and relief arrangements with leaders of the Council of Baptist Churches in North East India and the Manipur Baptist Convention. I was not sure if I should still come to the US, but my KBC colleagues asked me to proceed with the trip to tell the story and get assistance in the US.”

I have made the arrangements for Rev. and Mrs. Hoakip to visit IM, the American Baptist Home Mission Society, the Eastern University and Palmer Theological Seminary, and Upper Merion Baptist Church and to help us understand the context of the violence in Manipur. We also had Zoom meetings with IM staff, and with partners in India to share update of peace effort and emergency relief. Rev. Haokip explained that “The clashes in Manipur are primarily involving the numerically dominant Meitei Hindu community and the minority Christian Kuki-Chin-Mizo tribes, which have left over 60 dead, hundreds injured and thousands displaced, and in the last few days 150 churches burnt down, and 1,700 houses incinerated (figures as of May 9)… A ‘tribal solidarity march’  was organized on May 3 to protest against the demand for the inclusion of the Meiteis in the Scheduled Tribe category which triggered the conflict and riots… We Kuki people are also falsely accused of poppy plantations and sheltering ‘foreigners’ from

Myanmar in Churachandpur area… Some of our people believe that there is an intentional plan to take over our land and resources from our inhabited area… Our Kuki leaders and intellectuals have worked with the government and the society to resolve the conflict, but now we are victimized to the worst extent… We are thankful to our conventions and churches to provide the support as KBC also pours our financial resource and relief to the refugee camps… Please pray for us and help us.”

IM has provided an OGHS emergency grant of $10,000, and ABFMS India another $10,000 to help the relief as churches in India are mobilizing their congregations to bring truckloads of relief and food supply from all possible locations as many roads were blocked in curfew. Please pray for Rev. and Mrs. Haokip, and Kuki brothers and sisters for it will take months if not years for them to restore safe and normal life. Please also pray for Meitei brothers and sisters for their Baptist churches were also destroyed and are in the same fear and struggle.