The World Communion of Reformed Churches (WCRC) calls for prayer for the Indigenous communities of Manipur, a state in northeastern India.
Violence against Indigenous people, who are largely Christian, over the last two days has created an atmosphere of fear and insecurity. Over fifteen churches, including those belonging to WCRC member Evangelical Churches Association, have been either burnt or vandalized. Over twenty people have lost their lives in the violence while many others have been injured.
The violence began during a peaceful march by Indigenous minority groups protesting a call for affirmative action to be extended to the non-Indigenous majority group in the region. India has a system of affirmative action for Indigenous people and those who come from formerly untouchable communities.
The violence spread from the protest march in Churachandpur to neighbouring communities. Besides attacks against churches and residences, students belonging to these communities have been targeted in schools and universities. Unfortunately, the violence has also taken on peculiarly religious lines with even churches from the majority community being attacked.
The government has responded with a curfew and the deployment of the Indian Army to the region.
The WCRC calls for an immediate end to the violence and a process of dialogue to resolve the tensions in the area. The Communion calls on all people of faith and good will to pray and work for peace in the region.