27 June 2023

Ritika from Manipur: “God has protected my baby and my life”

As the crisis in Manipur, India, fades from the news, the violence there continues. Ritika fled her home while pregnant and gave birth in the jungle – but she is grateful to God and to you for your prayers and support. All names in this article have been changed for security reasons. 

Ritika named her son after the mountain he was born on as they fled from the violence in Manipur

Ritika was heavily pregnant the night that her home in Manipur was destroyed. Night was falling, but the streets pounded with loud blasts and shouts of protest. Ritika and her mother-in-law fled as fast as they could. 

“We were not prepared for such attacks,” Ritika, now in a relief camp, shares with Open Doors local partner Anjali Lhing. “We lived at Khangol and had to escape towards Kangpokpi. I saw my house burn in front of my eyes and it was a terrible scene.” 

“I saw my house burn in front of my eyes”


The violence continues in Manipur 

The flames that engulfed Ritika’s home is part of the ethnoreligious violence that began on 3 May and continues to envelope Manipur. As of 25 June, more than 50,000 Christians from the Kuki-Zo-Mizo tribe and Meitei community have been displaced, around 400 churches have been burnt and destroyed, more than 250 villages have been burnt, and 120 people from all sides of the conflict have been confirmed dead. 

Ritika is part of the majority-Christian Kuki tribe, whose community suffered most of the destruction from the Arambai Tenggol and Meitei Leepun extremist groups. However, Christian converts from the majority-Hindu Meitei community have also faced violence from the said radicals, and have been forced to reconvert to their Sanamahist/folk-Hindu faith. 

Ritika gives birth on the run 

“I could only think of my baby, so I escaped,” shares Ritika. “On the way, I had pains, and the women who were with me helped me deliver my baby. The men prepared a bamboo bed on the mountain, and they were guarding us. After delivery, they carried me and my baby on the same bamboo cot because we could not stop moving. I can never forget this day. I never imagined it. But thanks be to God for the gift of life that He brought into this world even in such a terrible situation.” 

Ritika’s mother-in-law adds, “I forgive our persecutors. Because of them, we can see God’s hand in our life.” 

“I want [my son] to live and see how God can do great things in his future”


Ritika has named her baby boy after the mountain where he was born, in their local language. Though still in a perilous situation – sharing food, shelter, and few resources in the camp for internally displaced people, she is optimistic for her precious baby.   

“I pray for my child because he came in the world at this time, but I want him to live and see how God can do great things in his future,” she shares. “Now also, I’m in physical pain because of how I had to run, but I don’t blame any tribe or community. God has protected my baby and my life.”

Your prayers and support are making a difference  

Thanks to you, Open Doors partners are continuing to provide relief and much-needed encouragement in Manipur and its surrounding areas. As of the third week of June, Open Doors partners have distributed 850 packs of grocery relief aid (sacks of rice, dal, pulses, potato, onion, soybean, cooking oil, toiletries, sanitary products, salt, tea, candles and buckets), as well as 100 sets of utensils (cooking pots, bowls, plates, drinking glasses and spoons) to affected Kuki and Meitei believers. Open Doors partners will also be there to help with the long process of rebuilding and restoring communities. 

“Even if you are not here, we know that your prayers and your support are with the people, which means a lot”


“We are really thankful for the people who have been such a big support,” Anjali says. “Even this support is a lot for the people in this moment. And as I’m speaking on behalf of the people from Manipur, I have seen how happy they were, how grateful they were, and how thankful they were. And yes, it is truly God who is doing this through you. Even if you are not here, we know that your prayers and your support are with the people, which means a lot. It is not just physical or material support, it is a strength. It is a support to their faith.” 

Anjali urges everyone to still keep on praying: “Please continue to pray for them. Please continue to support them in any way possible, because we are brothers and sisters in Christ, and we are supposed to stand with each other in this time. This is my request to you, and I’m really thankful for everything that you have been doing for our people.” 

  • For Ritika, her baby and her mother-in-law, that God will continue to strengthen and protect them
  • For Open Doors partners as they continue to serve believers affected by the violence
  • That God will pour out His peace and healing power over Manipur.
Please give
  • Every £17 could provide emergency food and aid for a believer in India affected by violent persecution
  • Every £50 could help provide shelter for a believer displaced by violent persecution.

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