By Dr. James Arputharaj Williams, India Chapter of the International Association for Religious Freedom
An Inter-Faith Journey of Solidarity to Manipur
Backdrop of the Crisis:
Manipur, a state nestled in Northeast India, recently witnessed devastating ethnic unrest. Since 3 May 2023, long-standing tensions between the Kuki tribe, primarily Christians, and the Meitei community, who are majority Hindus, erupted into violence. The conflict led to the tragic burning of over 230 churches, deaths of more than 60 Christians, and displacement of countless individuals. This surge of violence has its roots in decades of tension, but recent decisions by the Manipur government, favoring the Meitei and sidelining the Christian Kukis, acted as a catalyst for the current situation.
Against this somber backdrop, the India Chapter of the IARF is dispatching a delegation to Churachandpur on 26th October 2023. Comprising five members, both young and seasoned, including three women, the team aims to extend a hand of solidarity and support to those affected by the conflict.
Using a helicopter for transit from Imphal, the delegation’s primary mission is to spend time with survivors, listen to their stories, and offer prayers. Their endeavors are being supported logistically by the local Lutheran Church in Imphal. We request your prayers and well wishes for the safety of our team and the success of their mission in this challenging region. It is our collective hope that peace and stability will soon return to Manipur, allowing its inhabitants to reclaim their homes and livelihoods.
UN Day Inter-Collegiate Debate – 2023
In line with a tradition of over 30 years, the India Chapter of the IARF is organizing the Inter-collegiate debate to commemorate UN Day on 24th October. This year’s debate, scheduled for 14th October 2023, centers on the thought-provoking topic: “Is the UN failing or are Nations failing in maintaining peace and harmony amongst the people?”
Previously hosted at Loyola College, Chennai, last year saw the debate being conducted at Hotel Ibis, Chennai. This year, around 25 city colleges have been invited, with the anticipated attendance of former AYC associates and volunteers.
Our distinguished judges for this event are:
- Mr. Sambandam, Section Director, The Hindu, Chennai
- Dr. Suchismita Pattanaik, Environmentalist, CISRS, Bhubaneshwar
- Dr. James Arputharaj Williams, AYC/IARF
We are also privileged to have Prof. Venkateshwar Rao from the International Association for Religious Freedom, Vishakapattinam, as our keynote speaker.
All are welcome to join these events as we strive to promote peace, understanding, and unity. Your continuous support and prayers are invaluable.
Contact: G 11/1, Natesan Nagar, Virugambakkam, Chennai – 600 092