News by email Donate


World News

Killings continue in Manipur as Christian worshipper shot dead in church, tribal leaders report

by Premier Journalist
Manipur - 09June2023.jpeg - Banner image
The Indigenous Tribal Leaders Forum

The outbreak of communal violence in India’s north-eastern Manipur state shows no sign of ending, with tribal leaders reporting three new deaths, including a woman shot dead inside church.

Confirming details of village attacks is difficult, as the internet is restricted and accessing remote areas difficult for journalists. But according to The Indigenous Tribal Leaders Forum (ITLF), which represents the mainly Christian Kuki tribals, the incident was a “heinous attack on Khoken Village, situated on the boundary of Kangpokpi District and Imphal West District”.

In a statement, the ITLF said the attack involved Meitei militants disguised in Indian Army uniforms and using Army vehicles, in the early hours (4:00 AM) of June 9, 2023.

“The Kuki-Zo villagers, unsuspecting of the attackers’ true identity and assuming it was an Army combing operation, gave way but were instead met with automatic rifle fire, resulting in the tragic deaths of Mr. Jangpao Touthang, Mr Khaimang Guite and Mrs. Domkhohoi," their statement read.

“Two others, Mr. Thongneh, and Mr. Thangkhojang, were also injured in the attack. Mrs. Domkhohoi was saying her early morning prayer in the church when these militants shot her dead, with no regard for the sanctity of a place of worship," it added.

The anti-Christian aspect to the attacks has been addressed by commentators in Britain.

In a letter to the Church Times, Ram Gidoomal CBE of the South Asian Development Partnership – backed by others including Lord Alton and the Bishop of Truro – wrote:
“Every single church among the Meiteis has been burnt, bulldozed, vandalised, or desecrated. If there is no significant religious dimension to the violence, why have (at the current count) 317 church buildings and 70 church administrative or educational buildings been so evidently and specifically targeted?”

The Indigenous Tribal Leaders Forum condemned the over-night attack in Khoken, writing: “The use of Army uniforms and vehicles by militants raises serious questions about the source of their equipment and the potential involvement of external forces.”

The ITLF called upon the central government of India to bring the perpetrators to justice and expressed what they said were “heartfelt condolences to the families of the victims, the villagers, and all those who have been impacted by the recent tragedy”.

In their letter to Church Times, the signatories pointed to what they claimed was the knowledge and consent of BJP nationalists in Delhi for the attacks in Manipur:

“Is it at all possible that any destruction on that scale could be accomplished without Hindutva ideology’s local supporters’ being assured by people very high up in government that the police and the army would not intervene in their attacks on all these churches?”

A Monthly Gift Of $11 Makes A World Of Difference

In a world of fake news there’s never been a greater need for quality Christian journalism. Premier’s mission is to provide the Church with the most up to date and relevant news, told from a Christian perspective. But we can’t do it without you.

Unlike many websites we haven't put up a paywall — we want to keep our journalism free at the point of need and as open as we can. Premier’s news output takes a lot of time, money and hard work to produce. No one in the USA is sharing news like we are across radio, magazines and online so please help us to continue that today.

For a monthly gift of $11 or more we’d also be able to send you a free copy of the brand new Premier Bible, a wonderful Anglicised version of the NLT packed with exclusive bonus content, reading plan and resources to help you get the most out of scripture.

Your monthly support will make a world of difference. Thank you.

Support Us
Continue the conversation on our Facebook page

Related Articles

Sign up to our newsletter to stay informed with news from a Christian perspective.

News by email