In response to the devastating situation unfolding in Manipur, India, the Free Church of Scotland has donated £5000 from its Disaster Relief Fund to aid those affected by the violence and persecution. The donation comes as Christians in the region are suffering increased persecution.
The recent violence in Manipur has resulted in the loss of numerous lives and left many homeless. Christians, in particular, have been targeted for persecution, with reports indicating that at least 70 believers have been killed and a significant number of churches and Christian properties destroyed. The situation has deteriorated further, with recent clashes leading to additional casualties and the burning down of the ICI Mar Church, along with pastors’ houses and another church building. The violence has forced around 400 Christians from the ICI Mar Church to flee the area, seeking refuge in camps or neighbouring states.
Open Doors, a local partner organisation, has highlighted the continued attacks on churches and Christian properties, underscoring the urgent need for assistance and intervention. Despite claims from the government about maintaining peace and order, the violence persists, and Christians remain vulnerable targets. The situation has driven over 10,000 believers to seek shelter in rescue camps established by the army, while others are hiding in the surrounding forest areas. The impact on the community has been severe, with over 300 churches burned down, around 100 Christian buildings destroyed, and thousands of homes of Christians reduced to ashes.
The crisis has also triggered a range of economic challenges, making essential items inaccessible due to inflated prices and scarcity of resources. Daily wage labourers are struggling to afford food, and educational institutions remain closed, depriving students of their right to education. Furthermore, there are concerns about the potential for further violence as Hindu extremists exploit the conflict to target church leaders and coerce Christian communities into forced conversions.
Yohan Murray, a local Open Doors partner, warns that if the situation persists, a civil war could become inevitable, leading to even more loss of life, destruction of properties, and the open persecution of religious minorities. It is in this context that the Free Church of Scotland’s generous donation of £5000 from its Disaster Relief Fund offers much-needed support and solidarity to the affected communities in Manipur.
Donations from the Free Church of Scotland’s Disaster and Relief Fund are dependent on donations made towards the fund. If you would like to make a donation to the fund, you can do so here.