Manipur : A report has been published on international media Express.co.uk stating “Churches in India warned NOT to celebrate Christmas over Hindu tensions,” by looking at few incidents of violence on Churches in India, they have been warned to avoid celebrations on Christmas day.
According to the article published in UK based news website, Authorities have put Manipur on lockdown with a curfew in few places and churches being threatened with dire consequences if they celebrate Christmas. Advocacy charity ‘Open Doors’ said the ban comes after tensions rise between two major community in the area, Hindu-majority Meitei people and Christian-majority hill tribes including the Naga community.
Earlier this month three security guards were killed by Naga Rebels over the formation of a new district in Lokchow, near Tengnoupal in Manipur.
The Hindu-majority Meitei community retaliated with violent attacks on Manipur Baptist Church Centre with stones and sticks which resulted in broken glass and left the Church building destroyed.
The gang left a chilling warning: “No one is allowed to worship and celebrate Christmas without prior permission.”
The nearby Tangkhul Baptist Church Imphal has been warned by the same attackers that if they conduct worship services, the church will be burnt down. Government has not issued any statement over this growing tension so far.
Watch Express Report :
Local Authorities have cut off internet access to the area and imposed curfew in town until Christmas Day in a desperate bid to avoid any violence.
A local pastor told an Open Doors volunteer: “This might just seem to be a communal issue, but this is all planned to create problems for the Christians as even the government has announced curfew till Christmas.” By looking at government imposing curfew during Christmas eve its a clear message to minority community.
There are nearly 63 million Christians in India with 80 per cent of the country’s 1.3billion population identifying as Hindu. Attacks on Christians have been on the rise since 2013 and it is against the law to convert to Christianity in five states in India. An article was published by CBN news on 2016 saying India Gov’t Turning a Blind Eye to Religious Attacks. This is not the first time when a church is been attacked by Right wings Hindu nationalists.
Open Doors also said in their statement: “Persecution against Christians in India is rising, and it is extremely violent.
“In the last year more than 350 Christians were physically attacked, at least nine Christians were killed for their faith and at least three women were raped. Attacks mainly come from Hindu extremists.”
Source : Express.co.uk