Standing with Manipur’s tribals against overwhelming odds
Rev’s Ed Hird & David Kitz
Why has the Canadian media left us largely in the dark over the Manipur genocide? What has the Canadian government been doing to protest the slaughter, rape, and displacement of tribal indigenous people of India?
In the remote and beautiful landscapes of Manipur, India, a deadly violence began to unfold on May 3, 2023. The minority indigenous Kuki-Zo tribal communities (mostly Christians) were forced to flee the valley from a formidable adversary – the majority Meitei mostly Hindu community that threatens their very existence. Could prayer make a difference? What might happen if Canadian Christians lifted their voices in prayer for our brothers and sisters in Manipur?
The Struggle for Survival
The tribals of Manipur are enduring a harrowing ordeal marked by unprecedented violence that included the parading naked of two Kuki women by hundreds of men and who gang-raped them in a field. This systematic ethnic cleansing effort has resulted in at least 121 confirmed deaths of tribals, 197 villages burned, 7,000+ homes burned, 359 churches and quarters burned, and at least 41,425 persons displaced. As they stand united in their fight for survival, they are met with overwhelming odds against those who openly threaten to erase them as a people group, their cultural identity, traditions, and spiritual heritage. Thankfully, the Christian community from the neighbouring state of Mizoram have been helping in practical ways with the Manipur refugees.
A call for solidarity: In this time of darkness, we are called upon to be a beacon of hope and solidarity. Just as David faced Goliath with unwavering faith, the tribals in Manipur are courageously standing against forces that seek to annihilate them. Sadly, many Christians underestimate the power of our collective prayers and the strength they can bring to those who are struggling against injustice.
The Canadian Baptists of Western Canada recently commented:
It has become clear that these actions have been premeditated and state-driven… Several months before the violence erupted, a survey was taken that marked which homes were Tribal residences. These were the first homes targeted by the organized mob, which police were seen leading.
Lalpi Guite, a former Baptist Worship Pastor in the Vancouver area, said:
The immediate thing is prayer. The pain is real. We need to stand with our brothers and sisters. Pray for justice. Lalpi has written a song about the tribal genocide and God’s faithfulness:
When I feel forsaken, when I feel forgotten, I can count on you.
When I am abandoned and I am broken, I can still count on you.
Praying for peace, protection, and restoration
What can we do as Canadian Christians in the face of this horrific tragedy? What if we dedicated a portion of our prayers to the tribal people of Manipur? We could pray for:
Peace: Pray for an end to the violence that has disrupted their lives and torn their communities apart.
Protection: Pray for the safety and security of the tribal individuals and families who are enduring unimaginable hardships simply because of their ethnicity.
Justice: Pray that those responsible for orchestrating and enabling this crime will be held accountable.
Restoration: Pray for the rebuilding of homes, churches, and lives that have been shattered by the ongoing crisis.
Unity: Pray for unity and solidarity among the tribal communities as they face adversity together.
Global awareness: Pray that the international community, including governments that value the dignity of all people and human rights, become aware of their plight and take action to support their cause.
Let our prayers resound
Let our prayers resound across oceans, reaching the hearts and minds of those in Manipur who desperately need our support. Let us intercede on their behalf, imploring for God’s mercy and intervention in their struggle. Please ask the Lord what he wants you to do about this injustice.
In this time of trial, let us emulate the faith of David and remember that our prayers can be the slingshot that defeats the giants of injustice. Together, we can create a groundswell of love, compassion, and solidarity that empowers the tribals of Manipur to overcome their challenges.
May our prayers become a source of comfort, strength, and hope for those who are fighting against all odds. Let us unite in this mission of compassion and stand alongside our brothers and sisters in Manipur as they face their modern-day Goliath.
Let us stand in heartfelt solidarity with our persecuted fellow believers in Manipur.
Prayers along the highway: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iXi_9HR0JA8&t=12s
Head of Law Department, Manipur University calling on his audience to wipe out the tribals: https://twitter.com/zoukim27/status/1689305912492912641?s=48
A tribal social worker on PM Modi: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kjub7fFOX2E
Tribal women molested: https://m.dailyhunt.in/news/india/english/thefreepressjournal-epaperdhecf5ddffe11b4f36b496f4bee6e60122/police+picked+us+from+home+handed+over+to+mob+manipur+rape+victim+reveals+bonechilling+ordeal-newsid-n520294328