Tangkhul churches appeal Meitei and Kuki leaders to prioritize peace; emphasize on respecting religious freedom

Imphal: Tangkhul churches say Meitei Christians must be guaranteed safety in gathering and worship

BY | Friday, 11 August, 2023

The Union Tangkhul Baptist Churches, Imphal (UTBCI) has appealed to the leaders of Meitei and Kuki in Manipur to prioritize peace and to actively engage in the true spirit of peaceful coexistence. It urged the communities to choose to “come together as fellow humans because the future of our children is in our hands”.

In a statement, Rev Phanitphang S Shimrei, Chairman, UTBCI lamented the immeasurable suffering and loss of lives and properties caused by the ongoing ethnic clashes. “Peace and inclusive dialogue are the need of the hour”, he said breaking the silence of the Tangkhul Baptist Churches.

The violence in Manipur that started on 3 May 2023 completed 100 days on Thursday.

UTBCI asserted, “Peace will return to Manipur when we treat everyone as God’s creation.” Unfortunately, it said, our visions of love are blurred due to the immense hatred among us.

The Tangkhul churches further stated that the strife has affected every community in the state as “Evil does not discriminate”.

UTBCI stated that it condemns denial of religious freedom as much as it condemns communal violence. Highlighting the role of the Meitei Christians as a uniting factor between the different communities of Manipur, the Tangkhul churches emphasized that they must be “guaranteed safety in gathering and worship.”

“The present situation may seem bleak. But we must never cease to be hopeful for a greater future”, it stated. Respecting our religious freedom and allowing everyone to serve and worship the God he or she chooses is fundamental to our unity and securing a bright future, UTBCI added.

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