Some 100 Christians from different ethnic communities of Manipur living in Delhi joined to pray for peace in their state, where an economic blockade and violence continue for more than 40 days.
Key leaders of migrant Meitei, Chin, Kuki, Mizo, Zomi and Naga communities prayed together a Methodist Church in New Delhi May 22. The Meitei Christian churches in different parts of Manipur also held prayers on Saturday and Sunday.
Naga tribal groups in Manipur and neighboring Nagaland state have since April 11 blocked two national highways to land-locked Manipur cutting off its supplies of food, medicine and other essentials.
The economic blockade was intensified to protest Manipur state’s refusal to allow Naga separatist leader Thuingaleng Muivah to visit his birthplace there.
Muivah is among leaders demanding a greater Naga homeland comprising Nagaland and parts of Manipur where Naga people live. Manipur state reportedly fears the visit would inflame Naga passions as the leader plans to address several meetings.
Manipur is home to nearly 40 ethnic tribes belonging to different religions and linguistic communities.
A theology Totong Haokip, during prayer said that in Manipur, all the communities maintain a “tribal mentality, which is the greatest stumbling block for maintaining peace. Let’s pray to our God to remove such egotism,” he said.
People of various tribes namely, Rongmei, Mizo, Kuki, Zaliangrong, Tangkhul Naga, Meitei, Vaiphei, Hmar, Zou, Paite and Gangte “shed their tears in prayers” while praying for peace in the state, a press release said.
The prayer meeting was “really a very significant step” to help “love flourish among the diverse communities of Manipur and Nagaland,” said Lamboi Suantak, a youth leader in Delhi.
Reverend Madhu Chandra of All India Christian Council, urged the people that they “need God’s guidance” to help administrative bodies to find an amicable solution.
The ethnic Diasporas from Manipur living in Delhi also felt the importance of all the tribes from Manipur, living in Delhi to realize their role in bringing peace in Manipur.
“They also decided to conduct a regular prayer meeting in Manipur and Delhi in the coming days,” the release said.