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India: Manipur Catholic youth mark one year of ethnical violence with prayers

Manipur Catholic Youth prays for Manipur Peace

The Manipur Catholic Youth Organization held a solidarity prayer meeting for peace and reconciliation for Manipur at St. Joseph’s Cathedral, Imphal, on the occasion of the one-year anniversary of the riot that erupted in the state on May 5, 2024.

The clash between two communities resulted in 180 deaths and thousands of injuries as of May 1, 2024. The clash resulted in the burning and demolition of more than 200 villages and 7,000 houses.

The state government and NGOs set up various relief camps to accommodate the 60,000 displaced people. They also set fire to and vandalized more than 360 churches and synagogues.

Manipur is a state in northeast India with a population of 2.8 million, according to the 2011 census. The Meitei population makes up 53 percent, Naga Christians make up 24 percent, Kuki-Zo Christians make up 16 percent, and Muslims make up about 8 percent.

The Archdiocese of Imphal recently issued a statement urging all good-willed individuals and Catholic faithful in Manipur to observe May 3–5 as a time of intense fasting and prayers for genuine reconciliation and peace in Manipur in their respective parishes or churches.

In the statement, Archbishop Linus Neli recalled the most horrifying and harrowing days, particularly May 3–5, 2023, and said, ‘’We should fall on our knees to intensify our prayers for peace and justice among all fellow human beings.’’

The All Manipur Christian Organization also conducted a prayer meeting on May 3 at Tangkhul Baptist Church, in which Fr. Albert Leivon, Director of Manipur Catholic Youth Organization, and pastors from various denominations were present.

Earlier in May 2024, the Christian Forum Dimapur of Nagaland State also held a solidarity prayer for peace in Manipur in commemoration of Manipur violence, in which church leaders and believers from various churches participated in the solidarity prayer meeting.

On May 3, 2024, in Delhi State, the Archdiocese of Delhi, under the leadership of Archbishop Anil JT Couho, held a candlelight prayer at Sacred Heart Cathedral at 7 p.m. in solidarity with the people of Manipur.

Priests, nuns, Catholic faithful within Delhi’s diocese, and displaced people from Manipur have participated.  

On May 3, 2023, ethnic violence erupted in India's north-eastern state of Manipur between the Meitei people, a majority that lives in the Imphal Valley, and the Kuki-Zo tribal community from the surrounding hills.

Despite the presence of numerous central security forces, including the Army, sporadic firing incidents have kept the state on the boil.


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.