Global News - Redeem the Oppressed

Christians were badly targeted in a bloody clash in the Indian state of Manipur.

Christians in Indian state of Manipur landed in hot water when ethno-religious conflict erupted as a result of a peaceful protest by the largely Christian minority tribes in the region.

The bloody conflict has thus far resulted in 160 deaths according to unofficial stats. However, official data reveals that 60 people have been killed in the conflicts. The majority of those who perished included tribal Christians. “For two, three days, it was just anarchy,” a local Christian was quoted saying by an international watchdog. “And especially the Christians were targeted. Almost all the churches have been burned down and reduced to ashes.”

Local media reported that the peaceful protest held in the city of Churachandpur located in south Manipur, was disrupted when a truck hit a tribal motorcycle. Agitated protestors beat up truck’s Meitei driver. Following this, the Meiteis torched a tribal war memorial in retaliation, thus triggering the widespread violence between the tribals and Meiteis that soon engulfed the Imphal valley predominantly dominated by the Meiteis.

The violence left the local Church in shock and despair as they had to flee in orer to save their lives. Some 50,000 tribals including majority of Christians were displaced along with dozens of churches and other institutions looted and torched. “This violence is the worst in the history of Manipur,” Archbishop of Imphal, told international media. There are reports that more than 40 churches of different denominations had been desecrated and torched across the state.

Seeing the gravity of the situation, on May 8 the Supreme Court of India heard the case addressing the violence in Manipur, and issued an order for “protection of displaced persons and religious places of worship.” “We have made our concern explicit about the need for protection of people and property and the need for restitution and stabilization. This is a humanitarian problem. We are concerned deeply about the loss of life and property,” Chief Justice D.Y. Chandrachud told the federal and Manipur governments both controlled by BJP (Bhartiya Janata Party).


By Farrukh Saif

Farrukh Saif is a Pakistani human rights activist based in Germany. He founded his own organization, the Farrukh Saif Foundation (FSF), in 2009 with the goal of supporting marginalized and oppressed minorities in Pakistan who are affected by religious discrimination, blasphemy laws, forced conversions, abductions, rape, and bonded slavery. The main focus of the FSF is on the liberation of bonded laborers, particularly those working in brick kilns in rural areas of Pakistan. In 2018, the FSF merged with the US-based Emergency Committee to Save the Persecuted and Enslaved. Throughout his career, Farrukh has been a leading voice for the rights of minorities in Pakistan and has gained international attention for his campaigns against the misuse of blasphemy laws and the belief that asylum is not a crime. In 2014, he played a key role in the release of hundreds of asylum seekers from Thai jails and has worked with his legal team to save numerous victims of strict blasphemy laws in Pakistan. Farrukh has also been invited by the Hungarian government to discuss his work and the issues he addresses. In addition to his work with the FSF, Farrukh has also been involved in various other humanitarian efforts, including providing health care services to internally displaced persons in Khayber Pakhtoon Khawa in 2009 and assisting flood victims in Sindh and Punjab in 2010. He has worked to aid victimized minorities in Pakistan and has a strong track record of successfully advocating for their rights. Farrukh joined forces with Keith Davies in 2018 to co-found the Emergency Committee to Save The Persecuted and Enslaved, and since 2009, they have collectively successfully rescued more than 36000 individuals from slavery and persecution.