India (MNN) — Manipur, India, is reportedly under control. But with internet blackouts and curfews, it’s hard to be sure.
Ongoing ethnic violence has killed 70 people and forced 35,000 to flee for their lives. “Approximately 1,900 houses have been attacked and destroyed,” Bibles For The World’s John Pudaite says.
“Over 200 dead bodies collected by the police have not been identified. And there are many, many [people] still missing.”
Manipur’s Hindu majority people group and Christian tribal minorities have lived in tension for years. Those tensions boiled over earlier this month when the Majority group wanted government benefits at the expense of tribal minorities.
“Two [partnering churches] were not burned because they were near gas stations. The mobs decided not to torch them, but they did pull all the furniture out and burned it in the middle of the street,” Pudaite says.
Widespread mob attacks are contained for now, but divisions and tensions remain. Pray authorities would take action against those who perpetrated crimes.
“We are still hearing reports of violence here and there throughout the state,” Pudaite says.
“We’ve received reports of over 120 churches that [were] attacked, destroyed, burned, or looted. The violence against the churches was unexpected and still unfathomable.”
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“We are seeing the Body of Christ locally coming together in support of the people. Three of our church properties are now refugee camps. We’re providing food, blankets, basic needs, toothbrushes, mosquito nets, clothing, things like that,” Pudaite says.
“Our seminary, which happens to be on summer break right now, has a dormitory we are turning over to the relief work.”
Header image depicts mob violence in Manipur, India. (Photo courtesy of VOM Canada)