Local church seeking to provide spiritual, psychological and practical support
(LWI) The Lutheran World Federation (LWF) joins the United Evangelical Lutheran Churches in India (UELCI) in expressing solidarity and condolences to all who have lost family members or properties during the violence in the north-eastern Indian state of Manipur.
In a message to the bishop in Manipur diocese and president of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in the Himalayan States, Rt. Rev. Dr Hausuankab Manlun, the General Secretary of the Lutheran World Federation (LWF), Rev. Dr Anne Burghardt, said she had learned “with great sadness about increased violence towards many religious communities in Manipur, caused by ethnic conflicts.” She added “the whole worldwide communion holds you in prayers.”
State authorities imposed a curfew and suspended internet services last week in an effort to end ethnic clashes between members of the Meitei majority community and other tribal groups. At least 50 people have reportedly been killed, with hundreds more hospitalized and tens of thousands believed to have fled from the violence which erupted in the state capital Imphal.
Prayers for healing and reconciliation
The area, often known as the ‘Jewel of India’ on account of its rich cultural traditions and natural beauty, is home to diverse communities and indigenous tribes. Longstanding political, economic and social issues have fueled the hostilities between the mainly Hindu Meitei people and the largely Christian tribal communities.
The Manipur diocese of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in the Himalayan States is seeking to provide spiritual, psychological and practical support to victims of the violence. The church has also played a significant role in the past in settling disputes by raising awareness about the challenges facing tribal communities.
We pray [….] for a future where peace, justice and harmony prevail among the diverse communities of Manipur.
UELCI Executive Secretary Rev. Joshuva Peter
In a letter sent to leaders of the different churches in India, UELCI Executive Secretary Rev. Joshuva Peter called for solidarity and support for communities affected by the violence. Churches, temples, cars and buildings have been destroyed or set on fire, including the Trulock Theological Seminary in Imphal, near the border with Myanmar.
In his letter to church leaders and partners, Peter said: “We pray for the healing and reconciliation of all involved parties and for a future where peace, justice and harmony prevail among the diverse communities of Manipur.”