India: wave of violence against Christianity leaves at least 54 dead

The crisis occurred after the Government deployed the Army to contain a demonstration in support of two Christian communities.

Ethnic tensions and violence in the state of Manipur, India, has left at least 54 people dead and hundreds injured in recent days. The crisis erupted after protests called by a student union organization following the granting of tribal status to the Meitei community, the majority in the state.

Last Wednesday, the All Tribal Students Union of Manipur (ATSUM) launched a demonstration against the authorities for granting such status to the Meiteis, who are Hindus, and supporting the Naga and Kuki communities, who are mostly Christian. In response to the rally, the Government deployed the Army in Manipur, giving soldiers orders to open fire if necessary. An event that led directly to this crisis of violence.

In addition to the people injured and the fifty or so dead, several Christian buildings were attacked and burned in reprisals against those who support Christian communities.