Northeast Christian body UCFNEI pained by church demolitions

The region’s United Christian Forum also expressed anguish over the hostility faced by two church elders from Meghalaya in Bihar.

Published - April 14, 2023 01:41 pm IST - GUWAHATI


The United Christian Forum of North East India (UCFNEI) has expressed anguish over the demolition of three churches in Manipur and the alleged manhandling of two church elders from Meghalaya who attended post-Easter celebrations in Bihar’s Patna.

On April 11, the Manipur government razed three churches – one each of Catholic, Baptist and Lutheran – in the Imphal East district following the vacation of a stay order by the High Court of Manipur.

Manipur officials said the churches were demolished as they had been constructed on government land and without any permission from the district administration.

“The church leaders have expressed their deep pain and sorrow at the demolition of the three churches in Manipur immediately after Easter… Under these circumstances, we appeal to all the faithful to continue to pray for peace and harmony while standing united,” UCFNEI spokesperson Allen Brooks said in a statement on April 14.

Father Francis Vialo, a Catholic priest, said his diocese in Imphal had bought the land for the demolished Holy Spirit Church about 20 years ago from a person who, it transpired later, had sold the plot fraudulently with forged documents.

The UCFNEI condemned the alleged hostility faced by two Shillong-based Presbyterian Church elders, R. G. Laloo and T. Nongkhlaw, in Bihar’s capital Patna soon after Easter. The duo had visited Patna on the invitation of a local church.

Meghalaya police officials said their Bihar counterparts escorted the two church elders safely to the airport in Patna from where they returned home.

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