25 April 2024

God’s love is on display in Manipur through your prayers and support

On 3 May 2023, ethnoreligious violence between Kuki and Meitei groups broke out in Manipur, India. More than 400 churches were burned down, and tens of thousands of people have been displaced, with Christians from both tribes disproportionately affected. Thanks to you, Open Doors partners are continuing to meet the needs of these believers.  

Refugees from Manipur eat food together

Thanks to you, over 6,000 families from Manipur have been supported with emergency aid

“Life is tough in these camps. People want to go back home but cannot.”  

As Ravi* took Open Doors partners around the relief camp on their latest trip to distribute aid, he explained the situation. “Though it seems that the violence has subsided, strife at the border areas between Kuki and Meitei people groups still persists. People are afraid to return to their houses, hence they continue staying in the refugee camps.”  

Gathering for worship in the camps 

“Since there is no proper income source for people in the camp, they continue to depend upon relief distribution programmes,” says Ravi. “Sometimes they are out of food, but God has always sent someone to meet their needs. We are thankful that Open Doors partners have continued to help these camps with food and basic needs.  

“People are afraid to return to their houses” Ravi

“Amidst the war and violence, these people continue to gather every evening for prayer and fellowship,” he continues. “I think God wants to gather His people to listen to Him and trust Him more, despite the disheartening circumstances.”  

Among those who fled were pregnant women, like Esther*. “I was eight months pregnant; it was the most difficult time of my life,” she says. “I had to run through jungles. I had a four-year-old daughter also with me, but I was extremely worried for my unborn child; I wondered whether I would be able to keep him alive.  

“By God’s grace I gave birth to my baby recently. It gives me so much joy to hold him in my arms and see him safe. Thank you so much for your help with all the relief items; they are so much needed.”  

Trusting in God’s plans  

In another camp, Hoinu* shares how she escaped from her hometown of Imphal, currently occupied by Hindu extremists. She now lives in a hall with 63 Kuki families – around 270 people in all.   

Something particularly painful for Hoinu about the 3 May attacks is that she knew the attackers. “We shared festivals,” she says. “Meitei festivals or Kuki festivals, we share our goods, our food together. I recognise them. They are the ones smashing our windows, our vehicles, our goods and our things.”  

Although traumatised, Hoinu is choosing to put her trust in Jesus. “Whenever I read the Bible, I have peace in my mind that God is planning something good for us. I trust in God and my hope is that God will help us, God will guide us.”  

“I trust in God and my hope is that God will help us, God will guide us” Hoinu

She is grateful, not just for the relief aid, but for the presence of Open Doors partners and your prayers. “It’s not just the groceries, not just the food, but you have come to listen to us. Sharing with you, it takes away our mental pressure. Thank you.”  

Christians continue ministry inside the camps 

God is at work through His church even in the midst of displacement as believers continue or forge new ministry where they find themselves. They have formed new fellowships and are running small projects or programmes that help sustain them. Nitya Kapur*, an Open Doors partner, says it’s joyous to see that in times of adversity, displaced believers are finding ways to help themselves and help their fellow displaced families.  

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“They do not have enough resources, yet with the available facilities they are trying to support themselves,” she says. “Displaced families have formed their fellowship and they gather, worship, and share while the other residents of the state are welcoming and joining in their fellowship to strengthen and encourage them. Indeed, it is a joy to see the Christian brothers and sisters dwelling together in Christianity and uplifting each other.”  

Over 6,000 families supported, thanks to you 

Since the violence broke out in 2023, with your support, Open Doors partners have been able to reach more than 6,000 families with urgent needs like groceries, safe housing, medical assistance, blanket distribution, mosquito nets, utensils, and bicycles. More than 50 families have taken part in income-generation projects to help them support their needs. Around 30 students were provided with educational expenses and around seven literacy and bridge schools for Manipur survivors have been supported. Around 400 believers have received trauma counselling, and more than 2,200 benefitted through our persecution survival training.  

“They are delighted to see that they are not alone” Istuti

The risks in helping believers is high, but Open Doors partner Istuti* says it’s worth it. “We are trying to reach out to the affected families with their immediate needs and provide long-term help. The roads are rugged and rough, and most of the organisations hesitate to go inside, but we are traveling through those roads and reaching out with help and presence ministry.”

“It is a joy to see the smiles on their faces when we meet them; they express love and gratitude when we spend time with them and listen to them,” Istuti continues. “They are delighted to see that they are not alone, and Christian brothers and sisters are with them in prayers and through help and support. The conditions that these affected families are living in will leave you disturbed, angered, and heartbroken.”

“Thank you for not forgetting us”

Kimboi*, a Kuki Christian living in a relief camp, is grateful for your continuing support. He says, “We are so happy to see you; every day we are dejected at our situation. When brothers and sisters like you come, it refreshes our souls and gives us joy that we are remembered and that God’s people from around the world care for us. Your presence and help are a great encouragement for us. Thank you for not forgetting us and spending time with us and listening to us.”

“When brothers and sisters like you come, it refreshes our souls” Kimboi

Mohan* a Meitei pastor, whose house and church were burned down by Meitei extremists, has been struggling to survive without a regular tithe from his church. But thanks to you, he’s not alone. “It is a joy to see your help is not just limited to one community, but to all, and that your help is equal to all,” he says. “You are risking your lives and reaching out to us; it gives me happiness and assurance that the body of Christ is together, and we are backed up by your presence and love.”  

In Ravi’s camp, Thang* says, “Violence was extreme in my village. They burnt down our houses, churches, and everything. One of my friends was also murdered brutally.   

“When I had to flee from the village, I was terribly angry, I wanted revenge. However, when we came to the relief camp, I saw the love of God through what people all over the world were sharing with us. We want to thank everyone who has helped us through prayers and emergency support. Please continue praying for us.”  

*Names changed for security reasons 

Please pray
  • For God’s continued provision for those sheltering in refugee camps and that they will soon return home
  • That God will comfort believers, bring healing and renew their faith
  • For strength and wisdom for local Open Doors partners as they serve believers in Manipur.
Please give
  • Every £20 could provide training for ten believers, equipping them with a biblical response to persecution
  • Every £30 could provide emergency food aid to two believers in India affected by violent persecution
  • Every £47 could help a persecuted community establish their livelihood, giving them long-term financial security.

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Your support helps persecuted Christians continue to courageously follow Jesus. Together, we can reach those where persecution hits hardest.