India (MNN) — Members of India’s Meitei people group turn against their own as violence enters a second month in Manipur state. See our full coverage here.
When unrest began in early May, “The primary [conflict was] Meitei versus tribal [communities] in terms of government quotas, reservations, and land issues,” John Pudaite of Bibles For The World says.
“Then, all of a sudden, they (Meitei mobs) are turning around and attacking the Meitei Christian churches in their communities. Why are the Meitei turning on their own people?”
Christians aren’t the only ones who suffer. Earlier this week, a mob torched an ambulance heading to the hospital, killing a Meitei woman, her seven-year-old son, and a relative.
The Meitei are Manipur’s largest people group by population. “The Meitei are predominantly a Hindu people group, but the Gospel has been making inroads. Unofficial estimates [say] there are now five percent Christians among the Meitei, which might amount to about 100,000 believers,” Pudaite says.
“It’s been a tough people group to get the Gospel into, but over these years, we’ve planted 17 churches. Now, 11 of those churches have been attacked, burned, and destroyed.”
At least 300 churches have been destroyed statewide. Thousands of people are waiting out the unrest in makeshift shelters. You can send help through Bibles For The World here.
“We are looking at four different areas that we’ll be addressing: evacuation, relief, repatriation, and then the fourth and largest part will be the rebuilding efforts,” Pudaite says.
Pray for an immediate end to the senseless violence sweeping Manipur, and pray that believers can endure.
“[Meitei believers are] being [pressured] to convert either back to Hinduism or to the traditional Meitei religion, which is animistic,” Pudaite says.
Header image courtesy of Bibles For The World.