Earlier this week, a major crisis sparked in Manipur, India, and continues to escalate, marking serious concern among the Christian church. Among the violence in this area, which holds a strong Wesleyan Church presence, several Christian churches and houses have been burned.
Since the violence has taken effect, the Indian army has taken control and shut down the internet, so Wesleyan Church leaders in India are unsure of the extent of what is happening.
The fighting taking place has primarily been between the Meiteis (who are predominantly Hindu and non-tribal) and the Hill people (who are tribal and predominantly Christian). There have been a number of converts to Christianity among the Meiteis.
As of Friday morning, no Wesleyan deaths have been reported, though two Wesleyan houses have been burned. Several other churches located in Imphal have also been burned. Based on a report from the Mizoram district superintendent (a neighboring state of Manipur), 29 churches have been attacked, ransacked or burned in the Imphal and Moirang area.
A Global Partners missionary located in South Asia has requested prayer for the following:
- Pray for peace to return to the area.
- Pray for both sides of this conflict to seek reconciliation. On the surface, it seems like a political issue, but it is also a religious issue. In India, politics and religion often overlap.
- Pray for safety and provision for those who had to flee for their lives.
- Pray for the Indian Army as they were sent in to deal with the violence. Pray for their safety as well as wisdom in such a tense situation.
Please join us in urgent prayer for the safety of our Christian sisters and brothers, and for a stop to the terrible violence.
For more in-depth information, please refer to these resources, and stay tuned for more from The Wesleyan Church at Wesleyan.org and Global Partners:
Heather Auker is the communication supervisor for Global Partners.