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School of preaching burned, Christians scattered in east India

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Waves of ethnically charged violence in northeast India have claimed lives, driven thousands from their homes and resulted in the burning of church buildings, including a preacher training school associated with Churches of Christ.

“We have lost everything,” said R. Sanga, founder and director of the Imphal School of Preaching, just days after a mob looted and set fire to the school’s compound, which includes a church building and residences for faculty and students. The students returned to their homes as Sanga and his staff relocated westward until the violence subsided.

Related: In India, music teacher hears ‘the voice of many angels’

Sanga also is a director of Angels’ Place, a home for orphaned and abandoned children in the Churachandpur district of India’s Manipur state.

Thankfully, the attacks did not reach the home, and the children and staff housed there are safe, Sanga said.

“The situation is still very tense,” he said. The government has imposed a curfew, but the region has scarcities of food, fuel and medicine.

Imphal School of Preaching, Changangei, Imphal, Manipur, India

Tension has existed for decades in Manipur, which borders Myanmar in far eastern India, between its predominantly Hindu Meitei people and tribal groups, some of whom are Christian.

Recently, a proposed reclassification of the Meitei as a “Scheduled Tribe” sparked protests among tribal groups who argued that this move would give the Meitei too much power over land distribution and government jobs. Mobs of Meiteis responded with violence, Sanga said.

In addition to the Imphal school, attackers burned the facilities of ministries associated with the Independent Christian Churches, including a library on the campus of Trulock Theological Seminary, the Khongsai Christian Church and a hospital run by the Kuki Christian Church, the Christian Standard reported.

Tom Seggelke, president of the Kuki Christian Church Mission, asked for prayers for the people of Manipur. “Our God is a God of miracles,” he said, “and the Kuki people need a miracle.”

RELIEF FUNDS for the school and Angels’ Place may be sent to MANIPUR FUND, Holiday Park Church of Christ, P.O. Box 14, Monroeville, PA 15146. See jamesconnection.org/blog for more information.

Filed under: Angels' Place Holiday Park Church of Christ Imphal School of Preaching India International Kuki Christian Church Mission Manipur News Top Stories violence

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