TEXT OF APPEAL LETTERS TO
- SHRI NARENDRA MODI, PRIME MINISTER OF INDIA; and
- SHRI NASEEM AHMAD, CHAIRPERSON, NATIONAL COMMISSION FOR MINORITIES, INDIA.
\Subject: MANIPUR SITUATION: AN APPEAL FOR PEACE AND RECONCILIATION\
In recent times, peace has been threatened in the beautiful state of Manipur. The state has witnessed increasing number of incidents where Churches are desecrated, property is damaged and people are harmed. One of the most recent incidents is the attack on the headquarters of Manipur Baptist Convention (MBC) Centre Church on December 17, 2016. Such violent incidents stemming from socio-political or religious fundamentalism, communalism and bigotry, cause the erosion of values of secularism and a diminished sense of security or ease. Christians render selfless service across all cross-sections of our society regardless of religion, region, language, community or other differences. They are particularly vulnerable because of the widespread locations of various institutions and services.
A Peace Conclave was jointly organised by National Council of Churches in India (NCCI), North East India Council of Churches (NEICC), India Peace Centre (IPC), Council of Baptist Churches in North East India (CBCNEI), All Manipur Christian Organization (AMCO), Manipur Baptist Convention (MBC) and Centre for Peace Education Manipur (CFPEM), MPCS, Sadar Baptist Association, Mao Baptist Church, Neikanlong Baptist Church, All Manipur Catholic Church (AMCC), Adventist Church, Eternal Life Church International, Tangkhul Baptist Church, UCC, and many local Churches at Manipur Baptist Convention in Imphal, on the January 18, 2017. Christian leaders came together to uphold each other and the leaders of the state of Manipur in prayers to God seeking wisdom, fortitude, love and peace. The gathering, representing the Churches in Manipur among other states, while expressing concern about the growing intolerance and unrest, reaffirmed its commitment to selfless service, peace and reconciliation.
As the secular fabric is being threatened and the peace of the land is in danger, we assert the provisions in our precious constitution about freedom of expression, religion and life. If incidents that undermine the values in our constitution are not checked and remedied with the utmost seriousness, they will prove to be divisive and detrimental causing rapid disintegration of structures which will be counter-productive to nation-building exercises. Such an undesirable state of affairs is antithetical to the carefully nourished and cherished vision of practical secularism that the Church has always, and continues to, valiantly uphold.
In seeking to express the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Church has played a vital role in nation building through its care-giving, educational and peace-building initiatives and services. The church stands for true secularism, harmony, equality, justice and peace. The Church in Manipur, as in other states all over India, commits itself to support and promote all efforts towards building Just and Inclusive communities in the interest of strengthening democracy and India’s potential for global leadership.
We earnestly and urgently appeal to the state and national authorities to –
- Protect the Church from being subjected to atrocities and vandalism;
- Protect religious freedom and religious minorities in North-East India;
- Form Inter-religious peace forums to strengthen and promote communal harmony;
- Install specific programs to foster mutual respect across all sections of society;
- Stop the violence caused by divisive elements in society.
- Repeal the bills that are against the interests of the tribal people in this area.
It is hoped that, with concerted efforts, peace may be restored to the state of Manipur, its people and structures. We join together in the vision for our motherland India to become an epitome of Peace, Tolerance and true democracy that other countries may feel inspired to emulate.
Rev. Dr. Roger Gaikwad
National Council of Churches in India
On behalf of
- National Council of Churches in India (NCCI)
- North East India Council of Churches (NEICC)
- India Peace Centre (IPC)
- Council of Baptist Churches in North East India (CBCNEI)
- All Manipur Christian Organization (AMCO)
- Manipur Baptist Convention (MBC)
- Centre for Peace Education Manipur (CFPEM)
- Sadar Baptist Association
- Mao Baptist Church
- Neikanlong Baptist Church
- All Manipur Catholic Church (AMCC)
- Adventist Church
- Eternal Life Church International
- Manipur Baptist Convention
- Tangkhul Baptist Church
- Local Churches in Manipur
PEACE CONCLAVE IN MANIPUR
A Peace Conclave was organised at Manipur Baptist Convention, Imphal, on the January 18, 2017 under the aegis of National Council of Churches in India (NCCI). Christian leaders came together to uphold each other and the leaders of the state of Manipur in prayers to God seeking wisdom, fortitude, love and peace. The gathering, representing the Churches in Manipur among other states, while expressing concern about the growing intolerance and unrest, reaffirmed its commitment to selfless service, peace and reconciliation.
The “Appeal for Peace and Reconciliation in Manipur” to Prime Minister of India and Chairperson of National Commission for Minorities, was consented to by the following members present at this meeting representing their organizations and Churches.
1. Rev. Stephen Chinzalthang, Vice President, North East India Christian Council, NEICC.
2. Rev. Vanmawia, NEICC, Convener, Christian Home.
3. Rev. Dr N Nipamacha, Vice President, All Manipur Christian Organisation, AMCO.
4. Rev. Keisung Pamei, Sadar Baptist Association.
5. Mr. Phungmi Mawon, AMCO Treasurer, United Baptist Church.
6. Dr. Leban Serto, Centre for Peace Education Manipur, CFPEM.
7. Rev. L. Simon Raomai, Pastor, Manipur Baptist Convention Centre Church, MBCCC.
8. Mr. A. Nepuni, Pastor, Mao Baptist Church Imphal.
9. Rev. Akam Kamei, Pastor, Neikanlong Baptist Church Imphal.
10. Rev. Alani Shongsir, Mission secretary, Manipur Baptist Convention, MBC.
11. Ms. Lhingboi Kipgen, Women Secretary, MBC; Executive Committee Member, NCCI
12. Rev. R. Peter Chiru, MBC.
13. Rev. Apilo Thangal, MBC.
14. Rev. S.R. Onesims, MBC.
15. Rev. Boipu Serto, Youth Secretary, MBC.
16. Mr. Th. Samuel, Mizoram Presbyterian Church Synod, MPCS
17. Rev. R. Lalawmpuia, MPCS.
18. Rev. Dr. Hawlngam Haokip, AMCO.
19. Rev. L. Timothy Phaomei, AMCO; Love Manipur.
20. Adv. K.L. Kapoor, Peace & Justice Committee Member, CBCNEI
21. Mr. Johnny G. Shimray, Pastor, Adventist Church.
22. Mr. S.K. Luangamba, Managing Director, Eternal Life Church International, Manipur.
23. Rev. Solem A. Shimray, Tangkhul Baptist Church, Imphal.
24. Mr. E. Peter, All Manipur Catholic Church.
25. Rev. Dr. Wungnaoting Konghar, General Secretary, MBC.
26. Mr. Z. Chungsek, CFPEM.
27. Rev. T. Karang, Director, Peace & Development, MBC.
28. Mr. Jianthaolung Gonmei, Executive Secretary, Commission on Youth, NCCI.
29. Mr. Pradip Bansrior, Executive Secretary, Commission on Dalits and Tribals/Adivasis, NCCI.
30. Mr. Kasta Dip, Director, India Peace Centre (IPC).
31. Rev. Caesar David, Executive Secretary, Commission on Communications, NCCI.
32. Mr. Johnny Haokip, UCC.
33. Rev S Prim Vaiphei, President, AMCO
Churches and Organizations represented:
1. National Council of Churches in India (NCCI)
2. North East India Council of Churches (NEICC)
3. India Peace Centre (IPC)
4. Council of Baptist Churches in North East India (CBCNEI)
5. All Manipur Christian Organization (AMCO)
6. Manipur Baptist Convention (MBC)
7. Centre for Peace Education Manipur (CFPEM)
9. Sadar Baptist Association
11. Mao Baptist Church
12. Neikanlong Baptist Church
13. All Manipur Catholic Church (AMCC)
14. Adventist Church
15. Eternal Life Church International
16. Manipur Baptist Convention
17. Tangkhul Baptist Church
18. Local Churches in Manipur
NCCI & IPC TEAM – VISITED MANIPUR
(Kasta Dip, Caesar David, Pradip Bansrior, Jianthaolung Gonmei)