In the North East Indian state of Manipur, the Christian community is facing a grave humanitarian crisis, marked by violence, displacement, and a systematic attempt to erase their existence. This disturbing reality, unfolding since May 2023, reveals a shocking narrative of persecution and ethnic cleansing perpetrated by the Meitei Hindu community against the Kuki Zo Tribal Christians.
The orchestrated attacks, carefully planned over the course of a year, began with a violent assault on the Kuki Zo community, predominantly Christians of the region. The brutality escalated, leading to the rape, murder, and burning of homes, schools, theological colleges, and churches. This wave of destruction, fueled by the Meitei community’s selfish ambitions for land and a sinister desire to eradicate Christianity, has left over 60,000 to 70,000 Kuki people displaced, seeking refuge in crowded camps, rented houses, or with sympathetic relatives.
As the Kuki Zo community grapples with the aftermath of this onslaught, they are not merely victims; they have become voices of resilience, courageously shedding light on the ongoing genocide. The video below features firsthand testimonies that provide a direct account of the situation.
The motives behind these attacks are not just communal; they are politically motivated, with support from the Manipur State Government and certain Hindu fanatic political parties.
The situation is exacerbated by the indifference of the Indian Central Government and the state government, both seemingly unwilling to intervene and put an end to the violence. The Supreme Court of India’s chastisement of the central government underscores the urgent need for action.
The Kuki Zo communities, having lost faith in the state government’s ability to protect them, have taken matters into their own hands. Forming self-defense units and even purchasing guns for protection, they are determined to safeguard their communities against further atrocities. However, the Indian media is depicting this as clashes rather than an act of defense.
The alarming statistics paint a grim picture of the ongoing violence, with over 450 Kuki Christians killed, 250 churches burnt, and 2800 homes destroyed. The deliberate shutdown of the internet and stringent actions against media reporting indicate a concerted effort to suppress the truth and hide the extent of the crisis.
This resilient community is not without allies. Christian communities and churches from neighboring states, as well as organizations like the British Asian Christian Association, have stepped in to provide essential aid. However, the state government’s emergency relief grant has been insufficient and inadequately distributed, leaving many in dire need. The British Asian Christian Association has launched a long-term appeal, aiming to raise funds to assist numerous victims with essential needs such as food, medicine, shelter, clothing, support for relocation and property reinstatement for those who opt to stay. Your contributions to our appeal can make a significant impact. You can contribute (here).
As the Kuki Zo community calls for permanent resettlement and rehabilitation in new areas, questions about land allocation, infrastructure development, and the rebuilding of churches and schools remain unanswered. The future is uncertain, but the voices of resilience echo loud and clear, demanding justice, intervention, and a halt to the ongoing genocide in Manipur.
Juliet Chowdhry, a Trustee of the British Asian Christian Association, expressed concern, stating, “The large-scale attack on vulnerable Kuki Christians underscores their marginalized status in India. Instead of providing assistance, the Indian Government has suppressed information from the region, intensifying the suffering of those affected and resulting in the displacement of nearly 60,000 people. The widespread destruction of churches and homes presents a formidable obstacle to these individuals in restoring their religious practices. Moreover, the continued presence of armed militias, still posing a threat to shoot and kill Christian Kukis, perpetuates the fear of additional casualties. This incident demands significantly more international attention, yet the global community seems to have forsaken these suffering individuals.