Church Leaders Visit Conflict-Ridden Areas of Manipur, Condemn All forms of Violence

Archbishop Andrews Thazhath. CBCI President Archbishop Dominic, Archbishop of Imphal Fr. Jervis D'Souza, Deputy Secretary, CBCI, Fr. Paul Moonjely, Executive Director- Caritas India, during a visit to the violence-hit areas of Manipur on Monday (July 24, 2023).

Senior Church leaders led by Catholic Bishops Conference of India (CBCI) president Archbishop Andrews Thazhath visited the conflict-ridden areas of Manipur on Monday and condemned all forms of violence in Manipur. They appealed to all stakeholders to enter into a dialogue and create an environment of peaceful co-existence of various communities.

India Tomorrow

NEW DELHI—A team of the Catholic Bishops Conference of India (CBCI) led by its president Archbishop Andrews Thazhath, who visited the violence-hit area of Manipur on Monday, condemned “all forms of violence, atrocities, and attacks on our (Christian) institutions, places of worship and vulnerable sections of society like women and children.”

In a statement released today, CBCI said, “We are equally worried about the prolonged silence and apathy of the law enforcement agencies in containing the violence.”

Expressing serious concern about the prolonged situation of violence in Manipur, the church leaders appealed that “the governance system should uphold the secular fabric of our country, reinforce constitutional values and cultivate an environment of peaceful co-existence of various communities.”

They called upon all the stakeholders “to enter into the process of dialogue and concentrate on the development of all sections in order to bring about peace and harmony in India and in particular in the State of Manipur.”

The team visited Kakching, Sugnu area, Pukhou, Cachipur, Sanmgaiprou etc. and saw the large-scale destruction of private homes, churches/places of worship, schools and institutions at various places along the way.

The CBCI team distributed relief items for the displaced people in the Relief Camp at Indoor Stadium, Kakching and inaugurated a medical camp at Pukhou which used to be inhabited by over 1000 families. “They had their houses and properties totally destroyed and vandalized. St Joseph’s Higher Secondary School and Parish which rendered educational, social and developmental services to all communities including Kuki-Zo, Naga, Meitei and others, had been reduced to cinders,” the church leaders said.

According to the statement, Holy Redeemer Church in the campus of Catholic School at Canchipur and the Regional Pastoral Training Centre and St Paul’s Parish at Sangaiprou had also been destroyed completely.

The team members said that “these places looked deserted and seemed like they will not be inhabited in the near future given the mutual mistrust and fear that continues to prevail.”

“We are equally worried as to what is the actual situation and the future of those who have fled from these places and the future of their children, in the midst of all these vulnerabilities,” the senior Church leaders pointed out.

After visiting some of the schools and hostels that were destroyed completely, the Church officials said, “We could see the anxieties and distress of the children clearly leaving us with no answers at this point of time as to how we can build better the communities and the institutions.”

Caritas India under CBCI, in collaboration with Catholic Relief Services and the Diocesan Social Service Society, the Social Service Wing of the Archdiocese of Imphal, are providing relief assistance to the victims of violence in all areas of Manipur.

Archbishop Dominic Lumon, Archdiocese of Imphal, Fr. Jervis D’Souza, Deputy Secretary General, CBCI, and Fr. Dr. Paul Moonjely, Executive Director, Caritas India were among those in the team that visited the conflict-ridden areas of Manipur.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here