Many Hindus believe that conversion to Christianity is an attack on their culture and way of life, and an imminent threat to both, despite the fact that Christianity has been a presence in India since the days of St. Thomas the Apostle. 

For previous coverage of the persecution of Christians in India, see here.

“Update: Further violence erupts in Manipur, India,” Open Doors, May 24, 2023:

More violence has broken out in Manipur in recent days, after a lull. The area affected has a community comprising people from various different tribes – Kuki, Metiei and Rongmai people – and different faiths. The community’s Kuki leaders had advised vendors not to operate their businesses as it was a warzone. Local sources say that a mob of Hindu extremists from the Meitei group took advantage of the situation and started to attack abandoned Christian houses. (The Christians who lived in these houses had already fled the area, during the initial violence.)

The situation further escalated on 22 May, when some of the Meiteis attacked ICI Mar Church and burned it down, along with pastors’ houses and another building belonging to the church. At the time of the arson attack, there were six people in that building – they had to flee the fire. During the initial violence, 400 Christians from the ICI Mar Church had already had to flee the area and are taking refuge in camps or neighbouring states. A local believer is reporting that all their homes have been burned down.

“The attacks on churches have not come to an end,” says Open Doors local partner Yohan Murray*. “The churches and Christian houses and properties are constantly attacked. Though the government claims of maintaining peace and order, we do not see the results, every second night there is clashes taking place.”…

“The city is a shell of what is used to be,” a local partner says. The devastating violence has seen 70 Christians killed, around 300 churches burned down, around 100 other Christian buildings (including a theological college) destroyed, and at least a thousand homes of Christians burned down. 

More than 10,000 believers are taking refuge in rescue camps set up by the army, and there are reports of many hiding in the forest areas surrounding Manipur. While Christians are not the only people affected, local sources say that they have faced ten times the persecution received by Hindus….

There are fears of further violence, particularly as Hindu extremists are using the conflict as an excuse to hunt out church leaders and try to force entire Christian communities to convert to Hinduism.

“If the situation continues, civil war is inevitable,” says Yohan Murray*, a local Open Doors partner. “The pro-Hindutva government has not taken any measures to stop the violence, though on the orders of the Supreme Court, military has been deployed to maintain peace and order. There has been no initiative from the pro-Hindu led state and central government….