All Manipur Christian Org expresses concern over dismantle of churches in Imphal, says discriminatory decision by govt

Imphal: The All Manipur Christian Organisation (AMCO) on Thursday has expressed concern and solidarity with the ill-fated members of the three churches in Imphal.

In a statement, AMCO alleged that the state government with duress power carried out demolition to three churches without any regard to religious sanctity in the wee hours on April 11, 2023.

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The three churches located at tribal colony in Imphal East namely Evangelical Baptist Convention Church (EBCC), Holy Spirit Catholic Church and Manipur Evangelical Lutheran Church were demolished at 3 am on Tuesday in the presence of heavy security forces after the High Court of Manipur vacated its interim order of the status quo order as the churches were constructed on government land.

However, according to AMCO, the harsh action of the night raid has created a nightmare and fear psychosis to the people in and around them and also hurts the sentiments of the Christians in general.

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These Churches were dismantled on the pretext that they have been constructed on the Government land. It is very unfortunate that the Government has to resort to only demolition option of Christian worship places while dealing with Religious Structures constructed on Public Places/Government lands despite the Supreme Court’s standing instruction for either regularization, relocation or removal of such structures, the body alleged.

AMCO further mentioned that as per the Supreme Court’s directive, the Manipur Policy for review of unauthorised construction of religious Nature on Public Parks, Public Places etc. 2010 was framed and a proposal for regularisation of 188 religious’ structures in five districts was approved by the State Cabinet on October 11, 2011 and subsequently regularised the proposed religious’ structures on October 27, 2011.

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However, the Christian body alleged that not a single church/Christian worship place were included in the regularised 188 religious’ structures in the state and termed the decision as ‘discriminatory’.

The noble ideals of secularism enshrined in our Constitution which guarantees Freedom of Religion, Belief, Faith and Worship to every citizen of India needs to be followed in its true sense and spirit, it said.

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AMCO further calls upon all the Churches and Denominations in Manipur to co-operate and share the grief and sorrow of their brethren at Tribal colony in Imphal and withhold them in prayers.

AMCO reiterates its undaunted commitment to uphold the spirit of love, care and fraternity amongst the people of Manipur, irrespective of caste, creed and religion, it added.

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