30 April 2024

Seven days of prayer for Manipur

This week marks a year since devastating violence broke out in Manipur, India, between the majority Meitei and minority Kuki ethnic groups, with Christians from both tribes disproportionately targeted. From 3-9 May, will you join us in a week of prayer for the area and its Christians?

Praying in Manipur

Christians standing in a church in Manipur that was targeted during the devastating violence

Day 1: God of all comfort

Mohan*, a Meitei Christian and pastor, was away when the violence broke out. His wife and children suffered death threats, saw the violence and destruction, and managed to escape their village. 

“My wife on seeing the attack begged the attackers to spare the church, but they pointed a gun at her chest and a knife to her nose and said, ‘Do you want me to kill you? Be silent or you will be dead’,” says Mohan. 

“My youngest son couldn’t sleep and never told me about it. It was when he fell sick, I spoke to him and he said that the scene of the attack keeps running in his mind, and out of anxiety, he couldn’t sleep.”

Please pray for all those who have been traumatised by the violence, especially children, who have been exposed to so much violence at such a young age. 

“The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” (Psalms 34:18)

Day 2: God, the provider

Brother Boipu* (32) is one of 41,500 Christians displaced from their homes due to the violence, having lost his home in which he lived for more than 20 years. He is at a refugee camp with his elderly parents. 

“Every day looks the same,” he says. “We eat two meals a day. There is no change of food. Same food and same dress every day. I only have two pairs of long pants, two t-shirts and a sweater. It is cold at night. We are worried and feel bad knowing winter is approaching.”

Please pray that God will meet the physical, emotional and spiritual needs of all those affected by the violence in Manipur. 

“Consider the ravens: they neither sow nor reap, they have neither storehouse nor barn and yet God feeds them. Of how much more value are you than the birds!” (Luke 12:24)

Day 3: God of justice

Some people live in IDP (Internally Displaced People) camps with their entire families, while others have lost family members whose whereabouts are unknown. There are others who are in despair because they’ve been unable to bury their family members’ bodies.

Pastor John* ministers among those in IDP camps. “For the community, please pray for comfort and consolation,” he asks. “Comfort is something that we need after going through these ordeals. The people in the community want vengeance whenever they recall those memories. They wanted to do something ungodly. Please pray that there will be forgiveness in their hearts and that God will help them recover from all these kinds of trauma and distress.”

Please pray that justice will be served for the victims in Manipur, including the families who’ve been unable to provide a proper burial for their loved ones.

“Yet the Lord longs to be gracious to you; therefore, he will rise to show you compassion. For the Lord is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for him!” (Isaiah 30:18)

Day 4: God of peace

“The Meiteis and Kukis have been sharing a particularly good relationship, so we never expected these kinds of atrocities [that we have seen],” says Pastor John Haokip*. 

“The reason behind this sudden uprise is hatred, the kind of hatred that the leaders of the government instil in the minds of the youngsters. They hate us maybe because we are Christians; we are blessed by God, and these became known after the conflict started.”

Please pray that the spread of hatred and violence will end, and that the good relationship between the Meiteis and Kukis will be restored.

“Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times and in every way. The Lord be with all of you.” (2 Thessalonians 3:16)

Day 5: God our healer

“I had been out in the market buying something, when suddenly some attackers appeared on bikes with guns in their hands; they fired several rounds of pellets at us,” says Raghav*, who was shot at and almost died.

“My health condition bothers me a lot because all my life I had always been very physically fit, and here I am struggling to walk or do even simple chores,” he continues. “I do not know if I will recover to work and earn for my family again.”

Please pray for complete physical, emotional and spiritual healing for Raghav and all others who’ve suffered wounds because of the violence.

“The Lord builds up Jerusalem; he gathers the exiles of Israel. He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.” (Psalm 147:2-3)

Day 6: God is our dwelling place, our home

The ethnoreligious violence has displaced thousands of believers, with many of their homes burnt. 

Ravi*, a local Christian who has been helping Open Doors partners distribute emergency aid, said, “People are afraid to return to their houses, hence they continue staying in the IDP camps. Life is tough in these camps; people want to go back home but cannot.”

“When I had to flee from the village, I was terribly angry, I wanted revenge, as I never expected something like this to happen,” he continues. “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.” 

Please pray that all those displaced will know deeply the dwelling place of God – a home where security and rest are found – and ask God to provide new physical homes for them. 

“Lord, you have been our dwelling place throughout all generations.” (Psalm 90:1:1)

Day 7: God is good

When churches and Christian villages were set on fire by Meitei Hindu extremists, Istuti*, an Open Doors local partner, was in a neighbouring city conducting training with other believers. Members of her own family even helped carry out the attacks. Because of the tension and riots, Istuti was rushed to her hospital where she lost her unborn baby. 

Despite her own grief, Istuti continues to reach out to affected believers. “I want to be a voice for Meitei Christians because they are struggling,” she says. “Everybody hates them because they are Meitei, and people don’t see how they are struggling internally. I want everybody who’s praying for Manipur to know that [Christians] are facing lots of suffering. I want to give them a voice, to pray and stand with them.”

“The persecuted church feels a sense of assurance and security knowing that there are people who pray for them and are fully aware of their situation,” says Priya Sharma*, another local partner. “They don’t feel alone. They have felt God’s care through the help of our partners and supporters. And God is there for them, He is mindful of their situation, and He sends help to His people. And that the body of Christ is unified, as one part of the body suffers, the other suffers too. Our help may be a drop in the ocean, but it makes a lot of difference for the persecuted church.” 

Please pray that Open Doors local partners will be given strength, protection and encouragement as they serve Christians in Manipur. 

“Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for he is good! For his mercy endures forever.” (1 Chronicles 16:34)

*Names changed for security reasons

Please pray

Lord Jesus, continue to pour Your comfort, healing and peace into the lives of our brothers and sisters in Manipur. May they feel Your nearness and see Your provision. Strengthen their faith and enlarge their hope. Equip and encourage Open Doors local partners in their work. Bring peace across Manipur, and build Your church. Amen.

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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