The Presbyterian Church of Wales is calling on the Welsh and UK governments to speak up over the persecution of Christians and other minorities in the Indian state of Manipur.
More than 120 Christians have been killed since fighting broke out between the largely Hindu Meitei and mostly Christian Kuki-Zomi tribal groups in May. It erupted after what began as a peaceful demonstration over land rights, descended into violence. Around 350 churches and other Christian buildings have been destroyed and 7,526 homes have been burnt to ashes. More than 41,425 people have been displaced after nearly 200 villages were razed to the ground.
Three hundred and fifty relief camps have been set up to provide emergency shelter but the Presbyterian Church of India estimates that 450 shelters are needed to house those forced to flee their homes. It says its financial resources are limited and is now calling on Christians in Wales to support their fellow believers in Manipur.
There are long standing historical and cultural links between the Presbyterian churches in Wales and India and Rev. Nan Powell Davies, General Secretary of the Presbyterian Church of Wales said:
“India is widely regarded as a nation which promotes democracy, tolerance and the rule of law. The brutal treatment of Christians in Manipur and other parts of India, is alarming. We call upon the governments in Cardiff and Westminster to use their international influence and urge Prime Minister Modi to bring this crisis to an end.”
Prime Minister Modi has remained largely silent during these outrages despite pressure from opposition groups to intervene. Many commentators in India believe that his ‘Hindutva’ policy (extremist Hindu ideology), is making daily life highly dangerous for minority groups, including Christians.