May 15 2009:
Manipur repeats the burning of churches in valley as suspected Hindutva like communal forces burned three churches, damaging church buildings and furniture.
According to an EFI correspondent, Rev Chungthang Thiek , at about 10: 40 p.m, a newly organised extremist group attacked the churches of Baptist and Catholic in Phumlou and Phayeng on May 10 and Evangelical Churches Association building in Taothang on May 11. Partial Church buildings, furniture including pulpits, curtains, mats, mike, speaker boxes and clock belonging to the churches were gutted by fire.
A newly organised fanatic group is suspected to be behind the serial of attack on churches, targeting the Meitei Christians as there was also an attempt to burn a Meitei church in another area, according to reports.
Meitei Baptist Association was also reported as saying that an outlaw outfit warned to stop a church building construction at Lamshang village in the same district on the day the two churches were attacked.
Police registered First Information Report (FIR) but no arrests had been made at press time.
Over 10 churches were set ablaze in 2004 and 2005 where Christian’s workers were mercilessly assaulted and two death bodies were removed from the cemetery and reconverted to Hinduism.
Please pray for the Meitei Christians in Manipur and for justice and peace in the state.
Andhra Pradesh: In a similar incident in Andhra Pradesh, suspected Hindu extremists set fire to the Holy Spirit God’s Church on May 5 in Hasanpatri Mandal, Warrangal, Andhra Pradesh.
According to an EFI correspondent, at about 2 a.m, the miscreants burned the Holy Spirit God’s Church damaging church properties worth rupees 1 lakh . Partial church building, furniture including mike sets, speakers, Bibles, church literatures and carpet were destroyed in the fire.
Local Christians on seeing the fire rushed to the church and doused the flames thus preventing the church from being completely burnt down. The incident was flashed in local dailies.
The church leader, pastor Emaddi Clinton filed a police complaint. Police investigation is underway.
Two churches were burned and destroyed in Aravapalli village of the same district by the Hindu extremists in 2005.
Kindly pray for pastor Clinton and for peace and religious tolerance in Andhra Pradesh.
Rev. Dr. Richard Howell
Evangelical Fellowship of India
New Delhi, India
Evangelical Fellowship of India (established 1951) is a charter member of World Evangelical Alliance, an accredited NGO with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations