Christian Family Forced to Leave Village in Manipur

September 05, 2007
Madhu Chandra

A Rongmei Christian family was forced to leave Chingmeirong Rongmei Village in Imphal, the capitol city of Manipur state. Their refusal to leave the village caused tension among the community.

Sources told the All India Christian Council that Mr. Kaphun Malangmei formerly was a follower of the Tingkao Ragwang Chaprik sect of the Rongmei indigenous religion. He adopted Christianity along with his family members a few months ago.

According to Makulin Remei, spokesperson of Chingmeirong Rongmei Pei Authority, Mr. Kaphun’s decision to adopt Christianity and remain in the village was a violation of the village’s norms.

This violates the constitutional guarantee of freedom to adopt, practice and propagate religion. A local rule that requires Christians to vacate from Rongmei Villages cannot be above the fundamental rights provided in Indian Constitution.

Rongmei Christian minorities in Rongmei villages and Meitei Christians in Manipur valley have faced discrimination in the state from religious fanatics.

Dr. Sam Paul, aicc National Secretary of Public Affairs, appealed to Shri O. Ibobi Singh, Chief Minister of Manipur, in a press conference held at Imphal on March 17, 2005. Shri. O. Ibobi promised safety and protection of Christian minorities on the State Assembly floor on March 18, 2005. “In spite of assurances by state leaders, Christian minorities have been constantly threatened by fanatic groups in the state,” said Dr. Paul.

Nagaland State Bharatiya Janata Party President, Mr. Ato Yepthomi told Christian Council that his party will appeal to Manipur Government to ensure the safety and protection of Rongmei and Meitei Christians.

Manipur has a Christian population of 35% yet the Meitei and Rongmei Christians suffer persecution from fanatic groups belonging to their own communities. In 2005, a three month old dead body was removed from the Christian graveyard in Imphal West and church bodies at Phaknung, Lamding, Yumnam Khunou were burnt down by the villagers. Police forces had to wait for pressure from higher authorities and human rights agencies to fulfill their duties to protect the minority in the state.

Speaking about the historical church building at Kangla at Imphal city, Shri Rishang Keishing - former Chief Minister of the state and Member of Parliament (Rajya Sabha) presently told to Christian Council that Manipur Government must preserve the church building at Kangla, which lays vacant after Assam Rifles vacated the place. Mr. Keishing said that it symbolizes the unity in diversity of the state.

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September 5, 2007
02:37 PM

paging sanjay!


(sorry madhu)

A. S. Mathew
September 5, 2007
08:16 PM

Anybody can change political affiliation, and be an atheist, agnostic, universalist or anything else, but when a person wants to follow Jesus
Christ and bear the title " Christian", at that
point that person or family will be tortured.
This inhuman and uncivilized absurdity is being
repeated every day all across India. Where is the secular constitution and fundamental rights?

The world community is watching with alarm and
serious caution; what is going on in India? India has scored high in comparision to Pakistan in the issue of "persecution of Christians".
I will not dare to criticize collectively, a particular religion, but without any hesitation
I can vouch that the crooked politicians are the
culprits behind the current religious friction in

September 6, 2007
02:27 AM

When christian fundamentalists keep attacking others way of life, sooner or later people are going to respond (rationally or irrationally). While one cannot establish arbitrary rules on Individuals, there has to be some way in dealing with people who remind you everyday that the religion they follow is the only way (aka fundamentalist)./.....


September 6, 2007
03:05 AM

When i was in a convent school (spent some 3 unfortunate years there and then got transferred to a much better non convent school) we were all given pamphlets stating that it was murderous hindus attacking all christian missionaries, especially nuns, who were righteously converting the masses into the great religion of christianity.

I, as well as my parents, was "shell" shocked and the dumbness of this blatant attacks on all Hindus, including me at that time (i am an atheistic-agnostic now). I am sure that it was not only an attack on all those who followed Hinduism, it was an attack on Hinduism itself, portraying it to be violent AND on the other side of the same coin portraying christianity as the victim

I showed it to my dad and he gave me several examples [starting from the spanish inquisition and the crusades] of violent nature of religions.

I made up my mind that I was going to a govt. school the year after that and boy was it a good decision.

Its true when someone said:Religion is the opium of the masses. Combine that with the *fact* that around 50% of the people are less than average on intelligence (a simple statistical thought can prove that it is correct) and you get loads and loads of stupid religious people who dont have anything much to do. Combine this with another true fact: Idle mind is a devils workshop and Hey presto we have fundamentalists.

Christianity is not the only RIGHT in the world, nor it is the only light. Its just another religion and like other religions it has problems with fundamentalists, dumb followers, induced irrational behavior etc etc.

People should stop making Christianity a victim of sorts(and Hinduism a criminal) and focus on people that suffer, if something called god exists he would be more pleased in that manner.

I am sure of one thing: if India was majority christian.. the hindus(or muslims for that matter) would have been sidelined and targeted in some or the other manner. Its not a christian problem, its the fundamental problem of all religions.

Peace to the worlds religious clowns who entertain us! :)

September 6, 2007
03:50 AM

The fact is that the Third World cultures didn't invade, conquer, subjugate and convert the European Christian world, it was the other way around.

Europeans will always try to have the last word on everything, and will brainwash their own surrogates into blindly parroting their views. Notice how the Europeans aren't terribly anxious to invite those converted surrogates over to the European Motherland. They'd much rather that the surrogates Europeanize the foreign heathen soil, or at least carve out domains there to replicate the European culture.

A.S. Mathews will never understand why European colonialism won't be welcomed by those it colonized.

September 6, 2007
09:56 AM

No quibbles with the sentiment Madhu, but I wonder why such outrage is never generated when Kashmiri Pandits were hounded out from their homes by Muslims? When printers in Jammu refuse to print Hindu wedding cards and instead place Islamic quotes on them (and yes, Hindu printers have largely been hounded out of Jammu, and often the prosperous families end up getting their cards printed in Pathankot and Delhi etc) why dont concerned bloggers get upset? When Hindu businesses and families in Jammu are being threatened and harassed into leaving just as it was done in the valley, why is there no anger or horror?

Perhaps outrage, righteous anger, even shock is reserved for the non-Hindus?

On a slightly different note - there are massive issues with Christian missionaries in the north east (not in the least with those with US links actively arming various militias and criminal groups). Also there is a lot more involved - cultural, religious, clan loyalty etc - than just a Christian family being hounded out of a village. But of course that would require a better researched article and not a knee jerk blog post...

Man singh
September 6, 2007
02:02 PM

Mr Mathew,

If a well educated spritual person after trying his native religion (duly practising)finds that his religion is not suitable to him adopts foreign religion, nobody will object to it. This freedom of religion has been guerenteed by secular constutution of India.

But this constutution does not allow religious vulture using mental duress on illetral tribals, poor SC/ST people who do not know even iota of their own religion and lured to abandon their traditional faith under mental/economic mighty duress of Church.

I belive this conversion using money muscle marriage and charity should be banned by law.

As government under foreign influence is not able to protect traditional faith of the people being attacked by foreign missionery invaders, villagers themselves have to take steps to defend themselves.

It is like dacoits attacking a village. Police is inactive in protective villagers from attacks. Villagers will get organised and beat back the attackers. What's wrong in it Mathew?

One more issue. Constitution gives right to propagate religion to all people but also gived right to native people to preserve and protect their native religion and culture from attacks of economic giants christian missioneries aided by 166 christian countries.

Do you feel native cltures should be left for freely robbing by foreign religions and cultures?

It is not merely changing way of worship Mr mathew. It is slowly switching loyalities from cultire originate dfrom soil of India to that originated in foreign lands.

World history is a proof that Christians converts acted like associate of foreign invaders imperilists all over over the globe just 200 years back.

Local converts to islam acted like associate of Muslim invaders just 1000 years back.

Therefore conversion by fraudulent material benefits is crime against humanity and those who convert and those who instigate them to conver for material benefits are enemy of humanity.

Think over it deeply. Proplytisation has eliminated many civilisations from face of the earth. These vulture like missioneries should be banned from all self respecting countries.

Christians should be ashamed of their crimes against humanity in North America, South America, Australia, Goa , Phillippines and many other places. They are responsible for death of all these native cultures.

India is still surviwing. Please help the culture and religion of your forefathers surviwe and do not supprt those who are still attacking it through crooked missionery deeds. These fraudulant charity workers in reality are associates of foreign invaders(imperialists) and their heart beats not for India and civilisation originate dfrom soil of India but for some foreign lands.

yes Jesus can be follwed but only after trying our own 330 million Devas. If somebody is directly switching over to jesus just to get money and other material benefits, it should be considered as bribery fro faith trading and punishment should be made on both. Giver and taker of bribe for faith change.

Yes Mr mathew, though I m not much religious person, but I stand fro culture religion and civilisational values naturally originated from soil of India vis a vis those originated in forign lands. What's wrong in it?

September 7, 2007
01:52 AM

To Man Singh
Conversions by sword at least shows a lot of respect towards the converts than coercing them with money, that plays with the sentiments of poor converts.

September 7, 2007
02:32 AM

The issue of Christians in the northeast is not so clearcut. It seems everything is linked.

The Baptist Church in Tripura has been helping insurgent terrorist groups like the National Liberation Front of Tripura to fight against the Indian state. In fact, the NLFT was born with the help of the Baptist Church. This group has been terrorizing people belonging to the indigenous tribal religions to convert to Christianity at gunpoint. Bengali Hindus residing in Tripura have been at the receiving end of a genocidal campaign by the NLFT - supported in a big way by the Baptist Church with finances and weapons. In the past, officials of the Baptist Church have been caught with explosive substances.

If things are seen in this context - the provocative and condescending attitude of the Christian church towards "pagans and heathens" - it will be clear that things are not so clear cut as "Christians being persecuted in the northeast or Manipur."

Christian missionary groups have a habbit of inviting violence. It is a real pity that they havent learned their lessons from the bloody events of the 1857 Uprising and various other tribal uprisings of this period.

A. S. Mathew
September 7, 2007
08:47 PM

I don't agree with anybody trying to force other
person to join another religion. Religious converson must be done through personal conviction. A lot of Afro-American are chaning
from Christian religion to Islam religion. On the other hand, thousands of people are coming to Christian faith all over the world. Some of the Desicritics participants are vehemently
attacking Christians. How many political parties are in India, nobody will show any
interest to attack some of the crooked politicians, but the Christian community is an
easy scapegoat for attack. We Christians love you all.

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