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Indian archbishop visits the empty, vandalized Church 

Archbishop Linus Neli was ordained in the middle of the Ethnic violence in Manipur as the 3rd Archbishop of Imphal along with his team visited the vandalised St. Paul’s church in Sangaiprou, Imphal, after eleven months of ethnic violence.

Archbishop Linus Neli of Imphal and his team visited the vandalized St. Paul's Church in Sangaiprou, Imphal, eleven months after the outbreak of ethnic violence.

A mob came by on May 3, 2023, around 8.30 p.m., and began smashing and destroying the church and its properties. The mob smashed windowpanes, doors, the interior of the church, statues, crucifixes, sound systems, musical instruments, etc., and set the altar on fire.

The archbishop prayed in an empty church, an empty cross, and an empty tabernacle that the ethnic violence in Manipur had destroyed.

A priest who accompanied the archbishop, seeing the picture, lamented, "Save us, O Lord, and carry us back..."

St. Paul’s Parish, located in Sangaiprou, Imphal, is a parish that has members from all ethnic communities of Manipur, such as Meiteis, Kabui, Tangkhul, Paite, etc. On the same campus is the Pastoral Training Center, where lay catechists have received training for many years.

Mobs attacked more than 10 Catholic churches and institutions during the unrest, and they also burned "many churches belonging to Meitei Christians."

In India's north-eastern state of Manipur, ethnic violence erupted between the Meitei people, a majority that lives in the Imphal Valley, and the Kuki-Zo tribal community from the surrounding hills.

There were more than 60,000 displaced people, 400 damaged or destroyed churches, and 250 killed or butchered individuals.


Radio Veritas Asia (RVA), a media platform of the Catholic Church, aims to share Christ. RVA started in 1969 as a continental Catholic radio station to serve Asian countries in their respective local language, thus earning the tag “the Voice of Asian Christianity.”  Responding to the emerging context, RVA embraced media platforms to connect with the global Asian audience via its 21 language websites and various social media platforms.