India (MNN) – India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrived in the US last week for an official diplomatic visit despite the concerns of human rights advocates. Meanwhile, a member of India’s Congress, Sonia Ghandi, released a statement expressing sadness over ongoing ethnic violence in the northeastern state of Manipur and calling for peace to be restored. She described the hostile outbreak as a “deep wound in the conscience of our nation”.
Catch up on how the violence started and how it affects the local Christian minority here.
Trans World Radio’s Lauren Libby says, “The situation is not remedying. In fact, it’s escalating. And you don’t hear about it in the news, international news, because it just doesn’t affect the economy that much, frankly.”
Church leaders in the region have told Libby that the violence is a spiritual battle.
People of Manipur’s largest ethnic group, the Meitei, first targeted a minority people group that is known for embracing Christianity. Mobs burned hundreds of churches and forced thousands of people to flee their homes. The attacks have since spread to harm fellow Meitei people. Recently, a mob attacked a Meitei federal minister’s house and set it on fire. Even with assistance from national security forces and instituting a curfew, local authorities have been unable to quell the unrest.
Prime Minister Modi has kept silent on the issue, though his party holds a majority in Manipur state. Ten opposition political parties addressed Modi to demand immediate intervention and blamed the ruling BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party) for creating division that led to the unrest.
What will it take to finally bring peace?
TWR broadcasts biblical content in 150 of India’s languages. The content helps small group Bible studies in India to grow in understanding of God’s Word and be encouraged to share the Gospel with their neighbors.
“Our goal is to strengthen people not to become politically but to strengthen people in their spiritual lives and encourage them to reach out,” says Libby.
Rather than seeking a political solution, TWR believes peace will come when individuals are changed inside-out through knowing Jesus.
Libby says, “When the Gospel begins to hit a culture, things change. And so that’s what we need to pray about is that God would begin to transform individual lives, which would then begin to move throughout the culture.”
Pray for God to lead the people of Manipur into His peace. May He strengthen Christians under attack and give them courage to share the Gospel.
Libby says, “As we know, when the church is persecuted, that’s when it grows the fastest.”
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Header photo courtesy of VOM Canada.