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UK MP Highlights Violence in Manipur as a Silent Attack on Christians in India

London, September 21 – The ongoing violence in Manipur took center stage during a backbench business debate in the House of Commons on Tuesday, with one British Member of Parliament (MP) characterizing it as a “silent attack on Christians in India.”

Democratic Unionist Party MP Jim Shannon raised concerns about the situation in Manipur during the debate on freedom of religion and belief in Westminster Hall. Shannon directed his questions to UK Minister for the Indo-Pacific, Anne-Marie Trevelyan, repeatedly inquiring whether UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak had addressed the issue of Manipur’s violence in formal discussions with the Indian Government during his recent trip to New Delhi for the G20 Summit.

Additionally, Jim Shannon sought assurance that Anne-Marie Trevelyan would raise the matter of granting access to Manipur for journalists and human rights monitors with her Indian counterparts. He expressed concern that significant issues exist in India and emphasized that it is crucial for the UK Prime Minister to pose these questions during his visits to India.

Shannon stated, “The events in Manipur might be classed as originating in tribal or ethnic tensions, but the Manipur violence has silently been an attack on Christians in India.” He further noted that local police and the state government appeared passive as arson attacks destroyed the properties, homes, and lives of minority and religious groups.

According to Shannon, the perpetrators of the violence are believed to have ties to Hindu extremist backgrounds, while the victims are predominantly Christians. During a four-day period, approximately 230 churches were destroyed. Shannon asserted that many of the violence instigators did not act randomly but deliberately targeted Christians, aiming to force them to flee their lands.

Jim Shannon serves as the chair of the all-party parliamentary group for international freedom of religion or belief, underscoring his commitment to addressing religious freedom issues on the international stage.

The British MP’s comments shed light on the concerns surrounding the violence in Manipur and its impact on religious minorities, particularly Christians, within the region. These developments underscore the importance of international scrutiny and engagement on issues related to religious freedom and belief.

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