Manipur: Attacks on Churches and Christian Communities

Church Commissioners – in the House of Commons at on 16 November 2023.

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Photo of Fiona Bruce Fiona Bruce Conservative, Congleton

Whether the Church of England has taken steps to raise awareness of recent attacks on churches and Christian communities in Manipur.

Photo of Andrew Selous Andrew Selous The Second Church Estates Commissioner, The Second Church Estates Commissioner

I am extremely grateful to the Prime Minister’s special envoy for freedom of religion or belief for again bringing the situation in Manipur to the House’s attention. Archbishop Justin has spoken about it publicly, other bishops have contacted the Indian high commissioner, and I will shortly be visiting the high commissioner myself to talk about issues in Manipur with another hon. Member, both of us being great friends of India.

Photo of Fiona Bruce Fiona Bruce Conservative, Congleton

There have been months of violence in Manipur, and that violence continues, with Christians of different ethnicities targeted—such as the mother crying after four family members were tortured, killed, mutilated and cut to pieces on 7 November. Hundreds of churches and homes have been burnt, women have been sexually abused and organised mobs attack with impunity, allegedly using looted Government weapons. International news media from abroad find access hard. Will the Church continue to do all that it can to draw the world’s attention to this situation so that those responsible can be brought to account, the violence does not spread further, and practical help can be provided in the form of security, rehabilitation, reconstruction, and compensation for those who have suffered so much?

Photo of Andrew Selous Andrew Selous The Second Church Estates Commissioner, The Second Church Estates Commissioner

Reflecting on those awful remarks, I would suggest that it is pretty shocking to realise what our news media do not tell us much of the time. However, I can tell my hon. Friend that the Church of England is in regular contact with the Church of North India to offer all the support we can, and that we are supporting Anglicans here in the UK who have connections with Manipur. Those who suffer in Manipur are not alone, and we will continue to walk alongside them.